SOFIA, Dec 10
The northeastern Bulgarian village of Hitrino was witness to a fatal accident that demolished close to 50 homes and public buildings. According to official sources, 5 people were killed, and other 29 are fighting mild to severe injuries. Three of them remain in critical condition at local hospitals, and this number is likely to rise during the week, according to health authorities.
Bulgaria’s government is preparing for a day of national mourning following the incident, according to official sources. Boiko Borisov, Bulgaria’s prime minister declared that more casualties are yet to be reported, after his visit to the small town who is home to 1000 people and is located around 380 miles from Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city.
The incident occurred when twelve of the –private–train’s tanks derailed upon arriving to the village.One of the tanks also struck a high power line, bursting into flames and causing an intense explosion. These tanks carried a highly volatile and flammable gas called propylene.
After the explosion, dozens of homes here flattened, leaving people trapped under the ruins. The village was fully evacuated shortly after, as instructed by government officials. Authorities are now trying to safely remove all the propylene residues.
Around 200 fire fighters are currently trying to put out the fires, and cooling the tanks in order to avoid further explosions. They are also actively looking for survivors in the houses around the train station, as no houses in around 300 meters from the station were left standing after the blast. At this moment, an 18 year-old survivor that was rescued from the ruins has just died.
Nastimir Ananiev, head of the parliamentary commission declared that speeding or tank malfunctioning are the most likely causes of the accident, but prosecutors are already investigating and the people expects to see a strong response to who ever is found responsible.