Bulgarian prosecutors seek foreign experts to work on Gorni Lom explosion investigation

Bulgarian prosecutors have made contact with several foreign countries to get experts to work on the investigation into the deadly munitions plant explosion in Gorni Lom – because most Bulgarian specialists in the field were trained at a college which includes the plant owner among its leadership.

Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov said that the idea was to get the most impartial experts, not those who had got their licences from the owner of the factory where 15 people had been killed.

Asked if people who had worked on cases of previous explosions at weapons caches did not have enough experience, Tsatsarov said, “we have learned from the previous explosions – from the trials that were abandoned”.

He said that foreign experts would work alongside experts from the Bulgarian military.

The October 1 blast, apart from the fatalities, left three people injured, destroyed two buildings as well as cars. With the devastation having ended work at the plant, 38 people are unemployed. Among those who died was the son of plant owner Valeri Mitkov.

Separately, Bulgarian authorities have initiated an investigation into whether domestic and international laws on munitions crossing borders had been observed.

The plant had a poor track record, with two serious accidents in recent years before the October 2014 blast. It also recently had been sanctioned for violations of workplace laws.

Media reports have alleged that employees at the plant put up with poor pay and dangerous conditions because the area where the plant is located is among the poorest regions in Bulgaria.



The Sofia Globe staff

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