Explosion tears through Israeli tour bus in terminal at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas; over 20 people injured, 5 in critical condition. Among the deads are also the Bulgarian tour guide and driver.
According to media reports, a suicide bomber boarded one of three buses shuttling Israeli tourists across the terminal at around 5:30 pm and then detonated an explosive vest. Bulgarian media said 44 people were on the vehicle at the time of the explosion. -
At least seven people were killed and over 20 others were injured Wednesday in a terror attack on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas, some 400 kilometers east of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Bulgarian media reported that the explosion took place while the bus was still in the terminal of Sarafovo Airport.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for a situation assessment following the attack. He was also briefed on the available details by Bulgarian FM Nikolay Mladenov.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino are following the events from the Foreign Ministry's situation room.
Security sources said that there was no intelligence indicating that Israelis traveling in the area may fall prey to terror attacks.
"An explosion occurred in a passenger bus with Israeli citizens at the Burgas Airport," Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikoliv confirmed. Bulgarian security forces and emergency medical teams have blocked off the area. The airport has been closed as well.
According to media reports, a suicide bomber boarded one of three buses shuttling Israeli tourists across the terminal at around 5:30 pm and then detonated an explosive vest. Bulgarian media said 44 people were on the vehicle at the time of the explosion.
The Foreign Ministry has formed a team of experts that will fly to Burgas and assist local authorities in the investigation.
The Israeli Embassy in Sofia has been mobilized and is ready to assist the team, which includes ZAKA disaster recovery officials, in identifying the victims and ensuring that the injured and other Israelis that were unharmed return to Israel as soon as possible.
As a precautionary measure the Aviation Authority has ordered to delay 11Europe-bound flights after a terror threat was made against flights heading to the continent. In Bulgaria, flights headed to Israel have been delayed as well.
An eyewitness told Channel 2 News that Bulgarian authorities were slow to respond to the event, adding that search and rescue teams and paramedics "didn’t seem to care too much. They took a while getting these two small fire-extinguishers to fight a burning bus, and the airport's fire truck took over 15 minutes to get there."
Shosh Eyler, who was on one of the buses that escaped the blast, told Ynet that the blast took place seconds after the groups boarded the buses. "The bus next to ours just exploded. There was smoke everywhere and people were running hysterically. We got off the bus and local security officers got everyone into the terminal immediately."
Burgas is the second-largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and a favorite summer destination for Israeli tourists.