Blast at Explosives Plant in NW Bulgaria Leaves at least 2 Injured, over 10 Feared Dead
Two women have been injured in a blast at a privately-owned plant specialized in the production of explosives near the northwestern village of Gorni Lom, Vidin district.
According to unconfirmed reports, the accident may have claimed the lives of over 10 people.
Caretaker Interior Minister Yordan Bakalov told journalists Wednesday evening that it was still unclear whether the explosion had resulted in human casualties.
Bakalov, as cited by the BGNES news agency, explained that the employees of the plant had worked in two shifts.
He said that the owners of the factory had been near the site at the time of the explosion.
Bakalov informed that an overall inspection conducted at the company 15 days ago had revealed serious irregularities, adding that the authorities had issued penalty notices.
Bulgaria’s caretaker Interior Minister said that a similar accident had occurred at the plant in 2010.
Wednesday's blast went off at around 5.05 pm.
The area has been sealed off.
Teams of investigators and ambulances have been dispatched to the site. The General Labor Inspectorate has been informed about the explosion.
According to reports of the Bulgarian National Television, three women were injured in the blast.
Two of the injured were taken to the hospital in Montana after suffering fractures and one woman was taken to the hospital in Vidin. All three women are not in a life-threatening condition.
There were a total of 16 people at the plant at the time of the explosion.
There is no danger for the people living in the nearby village of Gorni Lom, according to the local authorities.
Meanwhile, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev assured that he was following the matter closely in a statement on his website.
Plevneliev noted that he was in constant contact with the ministers of interior and defense and the local authorities.
In February 2010, an explosion and a huge fire at the privately-owned Midzhur factory near the village of Gorni Lom left four people injured and destroyed two units of the plant.
The storage facilities of the factory contained around 10 tonnes of ammonite at the time of the explosion.
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