(This story corrects number of injured in lede paragraph)
Twelve people were killed and 31 injured, 18 of them seriously, when a Polish bus filled with religious pilgrims slipped off a road and crashed near Varazdin in northwestern Croatia early on Saturday, authoritiessaid.
Police, firefighters and medical teams were deployed to the site of the accident that occurred at 5:40 a.m. near Breznicki Hum in the direction of the capital Zagreb, the police said.
"We have 43 injured people, of them 12 deceased," said Maja Grba-Bujević, the director of the Croatian Emergency Medicare Institute.
"All the victims are Polish citizens - we can at this point confirm this," a Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman told Polish private broadcaster TVN24. "The bus has Warsaw registration plates."
The passengers were adult pilgrims who were travelling to Medjugorje, a Roman Catholic shrine in southern Bosnia, Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic told reporters. An investigation into the cause of the accident was under way.