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    Foreign Ministry spokesman on details of the accident in Croatia. “It was a pilgrimage that set off from Częstochowa”

    “This was a pilgrimage organised by Brother Joseph’s travel agency, which set off from Częstochowa. Among the pilgrims were 3 priests, 6 nuns and lay pilgrims,” the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lukasz Jasina, reported today.

    This morning there was an accident involving a Polish coach on the A4 motorway in northern Croatia. Twelve people were killed and more than 30 are injured. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Twitter that they were pilgrims travelling to Medjugorie.

     

    This information was confirmed during a press briefing by Łukasz Jasina, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

     

    He informed that there were “42 pilgrims and two drivers” on the bus.

     

    “This was a pilgrimage organised by Brother Joseph’s travel agency, which set off from Częstochowa. Among the pilgrims were three priests, six nuns and lay pilgrims,” he said.

     

    He added that the pilgrimage included pilgrims from the Mazowieckie, Wielkopolskie and Podlaskie voivodeships. The bus had registration plates from the Grodzisk district (Mazowieckie voivodeship).

     

    The Diocese of Wloclawek also reported that 10-12 people from the diocese took part in the pilgrimage. “Not all survived the accident,” it was reported.

     

    “The vehicle was manufactured in 2011, was registered in Poland and had all the legally required inspections, a technical test was performed in June this year and was valid until 13 December 2022,” informed the infrastructure ministry in a message posted on Twitter, referring to the bus whose accident occurred today in Croatia.

     

    Following the road accident on the A4 motorway, a press conference was held at the hospital in Varaždin with the Croatian head of the Interior Ministry and Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic, and the head of Croatian Civil Defence Maja Grba-Bujević.

     

    “We received information about the accident from a Polish citizen who was on the bus. All emergency services, 16 rescue teams, firefighters, and police (…) went to the scene. At the moment we have information that 11 people died (at the scene of the accident). 32 people were taken to hospitals and one of them died in hospital. From the information provided, it appears that many passengers are suffering from severe injuries,” said Bozinović, quoted by the portal of the daily newspaper Vecernji List. He added that he remains in contact with Croatian and Polish authorities, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

     

    Bozinović confirmed information already reported that the bus was travelling from Warsaw and was carrying pilgrims to Medjugorje. He added that the causes of the accident are being investigated. He also conveyed that “there were no children among those identified as fatalities and injured”.

     

    According to Grba-Bujević, 12 people died as a result of the accident and all other people on the bus were injured.

     

    The bus is still being lifted and it could always be that there are still some passengers trapped underneath, but we hope this is not the case, Grba-Bujević added.

     

    Consul on the scene

     

    “The injured in the Polish bus accident in Croatia have already been reached by the Polish consul and vice-consul, who went to the site. Contact has been established with those with minor injuries, but many people are seriously injured,” the MFA spokesman said.

     

    It is likely that in a few hours, the MFA spokesman added, a wider delegation with, among others, psychologists led by Health Minister Adam Niedzielski, will arrive at the site.

     

    As Jasina explained, at the moment the Polish authorities are focusing on assistance and on cooperation with the Croatian authorities, who have taken care of the case.

     

    Among others, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Croatian Minister of the Interior were on the spot, the MFA spokesman recalled. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau have already spoken to their Croatian counterparts, he added.

     

    “We are preparing various ways to help our citizens, from assistance on the ground to assistance related to returning to the country,” he pointed out.

     

     

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