Witnesses Testify in Bulgaria Deadly Train Blaze Trail
Witnesses in the deadly train blaze trail have started giving testimonies as the hearing started Wednesday in the Bulgarian Northern city of Pleven.
Nine people were charred to death and nine more injured after two cars of the night train going from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam burst into flames minutes after midnight on February 29, 2008.
The first witness to testify was Vasil Vichev, the father of Daniel Vichev who died in the accident.
In his words, he initiated his own investigation a few days after the fire. He has talked to 15 people who also traveled in the sleeping car, and they have confirmed that there were no working fire extinguishing devices in the car.
According to another eyewitness, who spoke with Vichev, there was a bakelite smell in compartment No6 when the train departed from Sofia.
Vichev also said that the fire signal was given to the police by a passenger and not by the train crew. He accused the Bulgarian State Railroad (BDZ) company's employees that in the night of the accident they went at a picnic, rather than at work, taking alcohol and food with them.
The prosecution asked for the medical expertize to be heard in the beginning of the trail. According to it, the car's conductor, Georgi Georgiev, had consumed some alcohol, but was able to fulfill his professional duties.
Testimonies are still being given in the Pleven Court.
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