Fourteen Employees at Gorni Lom Plant During Explosion - Witnesses
There were fourteen people at the time of the explosion in the ammo factory Midzhur near the village of Gorni Lom in Bulgaria's north-west, witnesses say.
Initial reports suggested fifteen people could have been inside and feared dead, with the Interior Ministry saying there were no signs of life except for a movement of a wild animal detected earlier on Thursday morning.
Latest eye-witness information however shows eleven or twelve employees and three management members were at work at the time of the incident, according to the website Dariknews.bg.
Prior to that caretaker Interior Minister Yordan Bakalov had refused to elaborate how many victims were expected, as it had turned out one of the fifteen employees supposedly at work had been in the town of Montana when the blast occurred.
No official count has been provided, since Bakalov, his ministry's Chief Secretary Svetlozar Lazarov and the factory's owner have refused to give an exact number until rescue teams have full access to the site.
Two of those trapped inside are from the village of Gorni Lom, four from Chuprene, one from Dolni Lom, three from Chiprovtsi, a family from Sredogriv, and the remainder are based in the towns of Belogradchik and Montana.
The Midzhur plant offered one of the few job opportunities in the region, employing workers living tens of kilometers away.
But the government has now vowed to have it permanently closed down.
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