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Bulgaria freight train explosion kills seven

12 December 2016

At least seven people were killed after a freight train derailed and exploded in Bulgaria on December 10. According to reports, a freight car carrying propane hit a power line, causing a blast which destroyed 50 buildings in the north eastern Bulgarian village of Hitrino. Some 29 people were sent to hospital with injuries and burns and at least three were in critical condition, health authorities said. 

Twelve people were reported trapped in the rubble and all buildings within a 300 metre radius were destroyed by the blast, according to Novinite.com.

A police spokesperson said the village was evacuated, even though a second blast was not expected. Hitrino is some 380 km northeast of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, and has a population of around 1000.

Some 150 firefighters were deployed to the site to control the fire and cool other derailed tanker cars as emergency teams drained off dangerous materials, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propylene.

Biser Minchev, chief inspector at the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC), said it was not yet clear what caused the derailment, and that his agency would carry out an investigation alongside the local prosecutor's office.

Bulgaria's government said there would be a national day of mourning for the victims on December 12.


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