Five dead, 20 injured in blast as goods train transporting gas derails near Bulgarian village

Five people died and at least 20 were injured, some critically, when a goods train transporting LPG gas derailed near the village of Hitrino in the Shoumen region of Bulgaria in the early morning of December 10.

The explosion destroyed or seriously damaged a large number of houses close by the railway line.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately confirmed.

Firefighters from Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Shoumen and all municipalities around Shoumen were dispatched to help extinguish the blaze.

Bulgarian National Radio reported municipal mayor Nuridin Basri as saying that in a house that collapsed, children had been buried.

Traffic Police have restricted traffic in the village. A detour has been arranged.

From Varna, specialist rescue equipment has been sent, to assist in detecting people buried in the rubble.

At Varna’s Naval Hospital, doctors were ready to treat burns victims.

The train had been travelling from the Bulgarian Black Sea port city of Bourgas to the Danubian city of Rousse. It was carrying 26 tanks, 20 of which were propylene, three LPG and three were empty.

A team from the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water was at the scene to measure substances in the air.

Valentin Krastev of the Fire Safety and Population Protection directorate-general told local media that there was no risk of subsequent explosions.

Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has travelled to the scene.

Interior Ministry chief secretary Georgi Kostov said that the identities of those who died in the massive explosion had not yet been established.

The head of the Fire Safety and Population Protection directorate-general, Nikolai Nikolov, said at mid-morning the fires in the village were under control.

The Bulgarian Air Force was on standby to assist.

(Screenshot via BNT)





The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.