An electricity power substation in a residential building exploded in the early hours of the morning of October 16 2012 in Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastal city of Bourgas, leaving a man slightly injured, wrecking apartments and shops and damaging nearby cars.
The explosion, in the building on Khan Kroum Street near the post office, took place about 90 minutes after two employees of power distribution utility EVN worked on the power substation after responding to complaints of a power failure.
Local media said that soon after the maintenance work was done, residents were woken by a buzzing noise. The substation then emitted smoke, caught fire and exploded.
Residents were still in shock after spending the night in front of the building, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said. Two children who had been sleeping in an apartment above the site of the explosion escaped injury because their parents moved them out because of the unusual noise coming from the substation. Similarly, other residents had left the building before the explosion, worried by the loud buzzing.
The building was built in the 1960s and has 32 apartments. Local media said that residents had complained previously after faults in the electricity substation and had asked for it to be moved.
Bourgas mayor Dimitar Nikolov said that all damage would be restored and compensation would be paid by EVN.
In a media statement, EVN said that representatives of the company were at the site and were waiting for Interior Ministry officials to complete their investigations so that EVN could carry out its own technical investigation.
Responding to reported concerns about the state of the technicians who had responded to the initial power cut, EVN said that the two technicians had undergone blood tests and had been found not to have consumed alcohol or drugs. The emergency team had acted in accordance with the company’s internal rules for responding to such situations.
The power substation had undergone three specialist inspections in 2012 and had been fully renovated in March this year, EVN said.
“EVN Bulgaria expresses its sincere sympathy to the victims of last night’s incident and confirms that it is ready to pay for damaged related to the accident if the liability of the company is established as a result of inspections and expert opinions.”
Local media said that residents had praised ambulance, fire and emergency teams for their quick response to the situation.