Bulgarian Authorities Warn of Complications after Train Blast in Hitrino
Gas has been flowing out of two tanks after the expolosion in the northeastern Bulgarian village of Hitrino, outgoing Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has said.
Her comments follow Saturday's tragic incident that killed at least seven people and left twenty-nine wounded, with twelve cisterns on a cargo train derailing and one exploding. The tanks are loaded with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propylene.
There are 12 tanks on the ground, of which nine are full of propylene and three of LPG. Earlier, the total number had been put at four.
All the residents of Hitrovo have been evacuated to avoid any risks throughout the cleanup operation.
Speaking to reporters after the beginning of an operation of emergency teams, Bachvarova has said there is "complication of the situation on the ground" as emergency teams are trying to drain the gas out of the tanks.
"There is a leakage of gas from all cisterns," she has said in a briefing aired by all national TV stations. "This requires for us to consider all kinds of risks, even if it costs us longer time to work."
On Saturday, authorities warned it could take up to 48 hours to complete the operation.
Bachvarova has urged patience and calm and warned the most important task is to mitigate the risks of nte incidents.
Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Georgi Kostov has warned residents, many of whom have livestock, against trying to reach the dangerous zones.
"If we cannot provide a window for people to feed their animals, our staff will go around to distribute fodder. But [residents should] not try to break the blockade."
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