Suicide Wave Persists in Bulgaria

Society | March 19, 2013, Tuesday // 08:10
Suicide Wave Persists in Bulgaria: Suicide Wave Persists in Bulgaria Police are investigating the latest tragic incidents in which Bulgarians committed or attempted to commit suicide. File photo

A miner from the western town of Bobovdol has become the next Bulgarian setting himself on fire.

Simeon Simeonov, 59, has poured gasoline on his body before the very eyes of his son. Before the desperate act he had called his wife telling her he felt useless for not being able to help his family.

The woman has become alarmed and had sent the son to check on Simeon. He arrived seconds after the flames burst and was able to extinguish them.

Simeon is in Sofia's emergency "Pirogov" hospital with 30% burns on his body. He is in critical condition and his live is in danger.

Strahil Strahilov, 39, has committed suicide in the western city of Kyustendil by jumping from the balcony of his 5th-floor apartment. He has been unemployed for a while and has committed the act while his toddler son was inside the apartment. Neighbors, stunned by the tragedy, are quoted saying Strahil's mother was working abroad to help the family.

Several days ago, police in the second largest city of Plovdiv found the charred body of a woman in a local park. The main lead is that she was killed first and then set on fire, but suicide has not been ruled out.

The incidents follow weeks of massive protests against poverty and corruption in the Balkan country.

The life of the 52-year-old Bulgarian man who set himself ablaze in downtown Sofia last Wednesday remains in danger, according to medics.

52-year-old blacksmith Dimitar Dimitrov set himself of fire in front of the Presidential building in Sofia. Security guards extinguished the flames and he was taken to hospital with 25% burns.

Three men passed away over the past month after setting themselves on fire during massive anti-stagnation protests in the Balkan country.

53-year-old Ventsislav Vasilev, who set himself on fire in Radnevo on February 26, having explained he has long lived in great poverty, passed away on March 10.

On March 3, Plamen Goranov, 36, died in Varna, after having set himself on fire on February 20, as an extreme act of political protest. Goranov, who protested against the corrupt authorities in the Black Sea city, became a symbol of the nationwide rallies, with media describing him as "the Bulgarian Jan Palach."

On February 19, 26-year-old Traian Marechkov set himself on fire and died soon after in Veliko Tarnovo, having explained he is too despaired to live on.

On March President Rosen Plevneliev installed a caretaker Cabinet after last month's resignation of the center-right GERB government that was triggered by the massive protests.

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Tags: Presidential building, Bulgaria, Dimitar Dimitrov, protests, sofia, Radnevo, Plovdiv, Varna, stagnation, protests, Veliko Tarnovo, Traian Marechkov, Ventsislav Vasilev, Plamen Goranov, self-immolation, fire, flames, Simeon Simeonov, suicide, Bobovdol, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Strahil Strahilov

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