A Polish bus carrying pilgrims crashed near Varaždin in northwest Croatia. On Saturday, August 6, the head of the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine, Maja Grba-Bujevic, reported 12 dead and 31 injured.

By according to Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawieckipilgrims were heading to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which many believers associate with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

The accident occurred around 05.40 local time (06.40 Moscow time) on the highway, near the village of Breznicki-Hum, in the direction of Zagreb, Reuters reported.

A spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed to TVN24 that all the dead were Polish citizens. “The bus had Warsaw registration numbers,” he added.

Morawiecki noted that he had already contacted Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and received confirmation that the Croatian medical services would provide all the necessary assistance. “I instructed our consular services to organize support for the families of those who had an accident,” the Polish prime minister added. By his order, Polish Minister of Health Adam Nedzielski and Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz, as well as doctors and psychologists, will go to Croatia before the end of the day.

The cause of the accident is being established.

Medjugorje is one of the important places of Catholic pilgrimage, where more than a million believers flock every year. Every year, from August 1 to August 6, the youth prayer festival Mladifest takes place in the village. In 2019 Pope Francis authorized pilgrimagesthey can be officially organized by dioceses and parishes and are no longer held only in a “private format”.

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