Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce informed that 13 people died in the tragic bus crash which happened on the Skopje – Tetovo highway this afternoon.

Unfortunately this was a difficult accident. All emergency response vehicles were sent to the site, first aid was administered at the site of the crash and the patients were taken to hospitals in Skopje. The total number of fatalities is 13. I’m deeply sorry for this. We responded as soon as we could, Filipce said during a press conference.

There were about 50 people on the bus which was going from Skopje to Gostivar. A total of 25 passengers were taken to the 8th of September hospital, four of them are critical and three sustained only light injuries. Additional five patients were taken to the Mother Teresa clinic, two of them with serious injuries.

Gostivar Mayor Arben Taravari said that this is a very difficult day for the city and the entire country and asked that all join in prayer for those on the bus.

It was reported that the driver suddenly lost control while the bus was passing near the Laskarci village, swerved into the opposite lane, after which the vehicle broke through the protective barrier and landed upside down in a ditch.

A dozen emergency response teams were at the site this afternoon, taking the injured passengers to hospitals in Skopje. A pregnant woman was on the bus and sustained light injuries, after which she was taken to the Mother Teresa clinic for treatment.

The driver survived the crash. Filipce could not confirm reports that the driver suffered a heart attack and that this was the cause of the crash, saying only that police has talked to him.