Seven people were injured in a series of explosions that rocked a munitions depot in south-eastern Bulgaria on June 5, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported.
According to initial reports, six of them sustained serious injuries, including broken bones, concussions and burns. A total of 13 to 15 people are thought to have been on the premises at the time of the first blast.
The explosion near the village of Lozenets, in Yambol region, caused all traffic on the Sofia-Bourgas highway to be detoured through the nearby town of Straldja.
The munitions depot was not one operated by the armed forces, the Defense Ministry said. According to news website mediapool.bg, citing unofficial reports, the depot is owned by a subsidiary of state-owned arms manufacturer Terem, but was under lease to Sofia-based company Teresa Trading.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Defense Minister Anyu Angelov, accompanied by army investigators and a team of doctors from the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, were en route to assess the situation on the spot, the Cabinet’s media service said in a statement.
The first explosion was recorded at about 2.40pm and was followed by other blasts over the next two hours, reports said.
This is the latest in a series of explosions at Bulgarian warehouses storing ammunition. In November 2011, a depot storing excess munitions near the village of Lovnidol near Sevlievo in central Bulgaria caught fire, but there were no injuries.
The most famous case in recent years happened in Chelopechene, just outside Sofia, in July 2008, when the blasts were strong enough to rattle windows in the capital city, kilometres away, as well as register on seismographs.