Bulgaria’s cabinet said that October 3 would be a national day of mourning in response to the blast at an explosives plant in Gorni Lom, with the cabinet saying that there was too little hope of survivors.
Soon after the cabinet announcement, the head of Bulgaria’s fire protection services told reporters that it was believed that 15 people had died, 13 men and two women. Relatives had been informed, he said.
Caretaker Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki has cancelled his public appearances scheduled for October 2 and 3.
After the blast at the plant in north-western Bulgaria, about 15 people were missing, with continuing uncertainty about how many people had been at the site at the time of the explosion.
The day of mourning comes just before Bulgaria’s October 5 early parliamentary elections. By law, October 4, as the day before the election, is a “day of contemplation” on which no canvassing is allowed.
The country’s two largest political parties, centre-right GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, said on the night of October 1, a few hours after the accident at Gorni Lom, that they had cancelled election close-of-campaign events and concerts.
The leader of the Bulgaria Without Censorship party, Nikolai Barekov, wrote to President Rossen Plevneliev asking for the elections to be postponed by a week.