Bulgarian transport minister orders immediate safety checks of goods train companies

Bulgaria’s caretaker Transport Minister Hristo Alexiev said on February 10 that he had ordered immediate checks that goods train companies were complying with safety regulations.

There would be zero tolerance for non-compliance with standards of safety and security in the transporting of passengers and goods on Bulgaria’s railways, Alexiev said, a day after a rail accident on the Dulgopol – Komunari line.

Alexiev has ordered an investigation to establish the cause of the accident.

The checks into goods rail transport firms would include compliance with safety standards, statutory rest breaks and working hours.

He ordered the railway administration agency to develop a system for electronic tests to check the knowledge of railway company staff and Railway Infrastructure National Company staff about the safety regulations regarding passengers and freight.

The order by Alexiev, in office as part of the caretaker cabinet that took over the administration of Bulgaria on January 27, comes two months to the day since the Hitrino incident, in which a train transporting gas tanks exploded, leading to several deaths, numerous injuries and widespread damage to the village.

Bulgarian caretaker transport minister Hristo Alexiev.

A few days ago, the head of Bulgarian state railways BDZ and the Railway Infrastructure National Company were both fired, as Alexiev ordered an operational plan to fix the state of BDZ, which he described as being in critical condition.




The Sofia Globe staff

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