Railway Theft That Caused Derailing Is Gross Crime - Bulgarian Min
Thefts on railway infrastructure are not only crimes against property, but can also cause a massive loss of lives, warned Bulgarian Transport Minister Danail Papazov.
Papazov was reacting Saturday to a train derailing apparently caused by theft of parts of a railway track near Bulgarian capital Sofia.
The locomotive, together with 7 cars from the 18-car composition, went off the tracks. Fortunately, no one has been injured.
"This is nothing less than an attempt on the lives of the two engine drivers!" exclaimed Papazov.
"Imagine what could have happened if that was a passenger train, or if the cars, which usually carry natural gas, were loaded," added he.
Papazov also said that the incident is estimated to have caused damages worth some BGN 0.2 M to Bulgaria's state railroad companies.
The freight train was travelling empty between the Yana and Musachevo stations near Sofia when it derailed.
Investigations of the incident are under way.
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This type of theft has become common in Western Europe over the last few years. The owners of scrapyards really need to be forced to comply with a law which should demand that the source of any scrap metal/cables etc is clearly identified - and can be checked