Ten people were injured in an explosion at the Terem munitions plant in the town of Kostenets, 60km south-east from Bulgarian capital city Sofia, on August 8.
The blast was reported shortly before 9am on August 8, the Interior Ministry said. The injuries were mainly cuts caused by glass shards – seven people sustained only mild injuries and would be treated in Kostenets, while three people with more serious injuries would be treated at the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, the Health Ministry said.
“We do not expect a second explosion. People should not worry, there is no danger for the nearby houses,” the head of the Interior Ministry’s fire-fighting department, Nikolai Nikolov, told Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
The area around the plant has been cordoned off and the plant’s workers – it employs 80 people – have left the premises, he said.
The closest residential houses to the state-owned Terem plant were about 500m away, the mayor of Kostenets Radostin Radev told BNR. The blast caused no extensive damage, other than broken windows in some houses, he said.
A team of investigators, including representatives of the defence and interior ministries, as well as military police and the fire-fighting department, was already on site to establish the cause of the explosion.
Bulgaria has a history of explosions at military facilities in recent years, such as the blasts at a munitions depot leased to a private contractor, near the village of Lozenets in Yambol region, in June 2012. 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.
(Photo: Andreas Krappweis/sxc.hu)