The bus accident at Laskarci on the Skopje-Tetovo highway is the latest crash with many casualties. The driver of the Durmo-tours bus, which was traveling from Skopje to Tetovo, lost control and the bus smashed into two roadside fences and fell from a six meters high wall. 14 people lost their lives, and 32 injured, of which seven people are in critical condition.
Since the country’s independence, Macedonia has seen many traffic accidents in which many lives were lost. Two major airplane crashes with about 200 victims, helicopter accidents with two dozen dead, a boat accident in the Ohrid Lake when 15 tourists from Bulgaria were killed are just some of the many accidents.
Helicopter crash near Strumica (2014)
The helicopter crash near Strumica happened on July 10, 2014 at about 22 o’clock when a helicopter of the Ministry of Interior, with a crew of four, hit the transmitter of the Macedonian Radio Television and crashed.
According to initial information, the helicopter was returning from its shift at the border police. Witnesses then stated for the media that the helicopter stayed in the air for more than five minutes without lights, then hit a transmitter higher than 100 meters. During the flight, pilots did not report any technical problems with the aircraft, which was one of the newer ones in the Ministry of Interior, produced in 2008. According to the former chief of aviation security in the air force Nebojsa Antic, pilots probably tried to land the police helicopter on the clearance near Strumica. The helicopter first hit the cables that held the antenna pillar. During the investigation, the installed three flight recorders (black boxes) were found.
In the helicopter accident near Strumica, when a helicopter of the Ministry of Interior hit an antenna and crashed, pilots Dragi Micev, Marjan Trajkovic, Tode Oreskov and Ilјo Lopaticki, who were on the night flight, were killed.
Helicopter crash Blace
Eleven Macedonian peacekeepers were killed on January 12, 2008, when they returned from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Altea peacekeeping mission. Toni Spasovski, Goran Ristovski, Brane Spasovski, Igor Gjoreski, Slavco Vasilev, Toni Davitkovski, Janko Siric, Miki Ivanovski, Aleksandar Taskovski and Aleksandar Vasic and Zlatko Veljanov were killed in the crash.
The MI-17 helicopter that they set off on the last flight had to land at the military area of the Skopje airport. A memorial was placed at the exact spot where the army helicopter crashed.
Bоat accident Ohrid
On September 5, 2013, the Ilinden ship sank in the Ohrid Lake and15 tourists from neighboring Bulgaria lost their lives.
The accident occurred around 10:30 am. That Saturday morning the weather was warm and quiet, the lake was calm and nothing indicated that the biggest boat accident would happen in the history of sailing in Ohrid Lake. The ship Ilinden, which transported 57 passengers from Ohrid to St. Naum, as a result of mechanical defect, overload and panic, overturned and sank about 250 meters away from the lake shore at the Elesec auto-camp.
Captain Sotir Fileski was detained on the very day of the accident, and the court ordered detention that was in effect until the legal resolution of the case on July 5, 2011, when he was sentenced to one year in prison. A facilitating circumstance for Fileski was the request of the representative of the Bulgarian citizens who survived the accident for ruling an alternative, but not effective legal measure for the captain, on the grounds that he had done everything in his power to save as many passengers as possible at the critical moment, and sacrificed his own life.
The Basic Court in Ohrid, where the trial for the boat accident took place on February 28, 2011, also sentenced Branko Baic, authorized representative of the German insurance company Lloyd’s, in absentia, due to a poorly performing the inspection of the technical safety of the Ilinden ship, which was built in 1924.
Bulgarian court authorities fined Borjana Georgieva, the organizer of the travel of Bulgarian tourists to Ohrid, in a separate procedure with a fine of 4,500 Bulgarian leva, as well as a two-year ban on tourism activities, because she organized the trip without adhering to the provisions stipulated by law.
Eight of the victims were residents of the municipality of Anton, four from the municipality of Pirdop and the rest from the municipalities of Zlatica, Mirkovo and Ribaritsa, Republic of Bulgaria.
On July 24, 1992 a cargo plane Antonov 12 BK of Volga – Dnepar Airlines with registration CCCP-11342 crashed 26 km southeast of Skopje, while approaching the airport. The airplane hit a mountain near the village Lisec. Eight people lost their lives in the accident.
On March 5, 1993, a passenger plane FOCER 100 of the airline company Paler Macedonia with 97 passengers was crashed from the Skopje Airport. 86 people were killed in the plane crash. The accident reports read that the reason for the crash of the Focker is that the wings of the aircraft were not de-iced, which led to its defect and crash.
Eight months later, on November 22rd that same year at Ohrid Airport, the second airplane accident happened. Jai-42D passenger plane of Aviompeks crashed due to pilot mistake and led 115 people to death – only one survived. The airplane was on the route from Geneva to Skopje where it was to land.
However due to bad weather it was redirected to the Ohrid Airport on an emergency landing. It crashed into the nearby Trojan Mountain.
On September 18, 1995, an Antonov 2R aircraft that was engaged in extinguishing fires crashed near Skopje. Two crew members were killed.
On August 28, 2008, a Cesna-type aircraft with ZL-DCV license plates crashed in the Skrebatno area near the village of Leskoec, near Ohrid. The pilot and three passengers on board lost their lives. Fortunately, a far greater catastrophe was avoided, as the plane hit an automobile in which a little girl was travelling at the moment. There were no other injuries, except for shock. Eyewitnesses said the airplane was flying extremely low, had an improper engine operation, and then crashed, possibly trying to avoid the crowd.
President Boris Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash
In an airplane crash outside Macedonia, on February 26, 2004, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, six of his associates and two pilots of the government’s Kinger plane were killed near Mostar. President Boris Trajkovski and an eight-member Macedonian delegation were traveling to the International Conference in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Apart from President Boris Trajkovski, spokesperson Dimka Ilkova Boskovic, advisers Risto Blazevski and Anita Lozanovska, Interior Ministry representative Mile Krstevski, bodyguards Ace Bozinovski and Boris Velinovski, as well as the pilot and co-pilot of the airplane lost their lives.