Bulgarian explosives plant blast kills 15
02 October 2014
A number of blasts at a privately-owned Midzhur explosives plant in the village of Gorni Lom, about 145km (90 miles) northwest of Sofia, killed 15 people and injured a further three, Novonite said on October 1. An interior ministry spokesman said the blasts took place in part of the plant where landmines were dismantled.
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (KNSB) head Plamen Dimitrov told Bulgarian National Radio a new product was introduced on the assembly line the day of the incident, and that no instructions on how to use the product had been delivered to the workers.
But, according to Novinite, he said no connection could be definitely established between the new product and the explosions.
On October 2 the acting Labour Minister confirmed that Bulgaria’s General Labour Inspectorate had conducted an inspection at the plant on August 6, registering 13 violations, including outdated equipment, the lack of a second exit at the ammunition utilisation unit, and the lack of safety instructions.
The inspection also found that sacks of TNT waste had been left in a number of places at the plant, and that seven penalty notices had been issued since the beginning of 2014. Despite systemic breaches of safety rules, the Minister said the plant had not been closed because it was the only employer in the area.