Polish bus crashes on Croatian motorway leaving at least 12 dead and 30 injured on trip taking pilgrims to Catholic shrine in Bosnia

  • A Polish bus skidded off a motorway into a ditch at around 4.40am GMT
  • It was carrying 43 people to a popular pilgrimage spot - a shrine in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • ¬†The crash occurred¬†30 miles north of Zagreb, the Croatian capital¬†
  • Croatia's state HRT television said it was likely the bus driver fell asleep

At least 12 people have been killed and 30 have been injured after a bus carrying pilgrims skidded on a motorway in Croatia early this morning, according to police. 

The crash happened at 5.40am local time (4.40am GMT) 30 miles north of Zagreb, the Croatian capital, on the A-4 motorway, which is busy during the peak of the tourist season.

The bus was carrying 43 people, including three priests and six nuns, to a catholic shrine in Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was heading in the direction of Zagreb.

Croatian Police said on Twitter: 'In the skidding of a bus with Polish licence plates, according to initial information from the field, 11 people died and several were injured.'

A Polish bus carrying 43 people skidded off a Croatian motorway into a ditch at around 4.40am GMT this morning. Pictured: A crane moving the wreckage of the bus from where it veered off the motorway

Rescuers at work removing the bus with Polish licence plates from the motorway in northern Croatia

At least 12 people have died and 30 are injured, many seriously. Pictured: the wreckage of the bus 

Croatia's state HRT television said the most likely cause of the crash was the driver falling asleep, before the bus skidded off the motorway into a ditch (pictured)

The crash happened 30 miles north of Zagreb, the Croatian capital, on the A-4 motorway, which is busy during the peak of the tourist season

Officials said another passenger later died in hospital, bringing the total to 12. 

30 people are said to be injured and Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said some of them are fighting for their lives.

Croatia's state HRT television said the most likely cause of the crash was the driver falling asleep, before the bus skidded off the motorway into a ditch. 

The crash happened at 5.40am local time (4.40am GMT) 30 miles north of Zagreb, the Croatian capital, on the A-4 motorway, which is busy during the peak of the tourist season.

The bus was carrying 43 people, including three priests and six nuns, to a catholic shrine in Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was heading in the direction of Zagreb.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook: 'This morning, I spoke about the details of the tragedy with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who assured the full support of Croatian medical services. 

The bus was carrying 43 people, including three priests and six nuns, to a catholic shrine in Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was heading in the direction of Zagreb

Rescue teams were sent to the accident and an investigation into its cause is ongoing, according to Croatian media

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter. Pictured: members of the police and emergency services standing on the motorway next to the wreckage of the bus

'I recommended our consular services to organise a support organisation for the families of accident participants.'

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter.  

Rescue teams were sent to the accident and an investigation into its cause is ongoing, according to Croatian media. 

The Catholic shrine in Medjugorje is Europe's third-most popular pilgrimage destination after Lourdes and Fatima.

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Polish bus crashes on Croatian motorway leaving at least 12 dead and 30 injured

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