MORANE, North Macedonia (Reuters) – Hundreds of mourners gathered in a cemetery in a Macedonian village in cold rain on Friday to rest 10 local residents, including eight school children who were among 45 people killed in a crash bus service in Bulgaria.
The bus, which was bringing tourists back to North Macedonia after a weekend in Istanbul, caught fire on a highway in the early hours of November 23. All the victims were identified as ethnic Albanians from North Macedonia.
Human error was probably the main cause of the crash, Bulgarian investigators said.
Green coffins containing 10 victims were driven into the ground at the cemetery in Morane village – Enver Jahi’s four children, his wife, sister-in-law and two children, and two children of one of Jahi’s sisters – all from Morane.
Arlinda Vlashi, teacher of Omer Jahi, 11, buried next to her three siblings and their mother, came to pay homage to her. “How can I go to class now when I can’t see him?” She said in tears.
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âI was Omer’s new teacher when he started grade six (in September). He was a very nice boy, very wise, very polite and he learned quickly.
Enver Jahi, who did not make the trip to Istanbul because he had to run the family restaurant, wept in the rain as the coffins were buried, followed by prayers from an imam.
“It was very bad news for us. Not just for me but for the whole village,” said Nuredin Bajrami, a neighbor of the Jahi family. “We knew them very well, they also had a restaurant and people visited them very often. They were very good people.”
The bodies of the other victims of the crash arrived on Friday afternoon in two Bulgarian military planes at the airport in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. They were buried in various cemeteries across the Balkan country during the afternoon.
(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; writing by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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