Police said today that the fire broke out at 11:25 am (0925 GMT) when the Mercedes bus was near the old bazaar in Kruja, 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of the capital, Tirana. It was taking 30 Christian Orthodox believers coming from the southwestern port city of Vlora to visit the castle of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, a 15th-century warrior.
Local media quoted one of the passengers saying the fire spread rapidly and that passengers could not reach the bus door, but got out after some passers-by smashed some windows.
Doctors said eight of the injured - all elderly women - were gravely ill with burns over more than half of their bodies. First reports had said 12 people were injured.
Church officials said that the group was on a pilgrimage around Albania and neighboring Montenegro.
Police say the cause of the fire is being investigated.
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