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Explosion at Bulgarian ammunition manufacturer kills one, injures two

06 November 2023

An explosion at Bulgaria’s largest armaments factory, Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi (VMZ) EAD, killed one worker and injured two others on 25 October. The incident at the facility in the town of Sopot, 40 miles (65km) north of Plovdiv, occurred during the handling of explosives in a workshop at the site, officials said.

Image: VMZ
Image: VMZ

Emergency services were called to the scene after reports of the blast. Three people received treatment at the scene before being rushed to hospital. Authorities later said that a 33-year old worker was confirmed to have died while being transported to hospital.

The local fire department said that a fire broke out as a result of the blast, however it was contained to prevent it spreading to other parts of the factory. Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defence said it would conduct an internal inquiry into the explosion. The facility is the only remained Government-owned weapons factory in Bulgaria.

The District Prosecutor's Office in Plovdiv has also opened an investigation and said it would focus on the potential charges of causing death due to negligence stemming from ignorance and careless execution of a job with elevated risks.

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