Bulgarian prosecutors charge 7, including two former road agency bosses, over Svoge fatal bus crash

The Sofia District Prosecutor’s Office has lodged criminal charges against two former members of the Road Infrastructure Agency board of directors and five other people in connection with the August 25 2018 bus crash near Svoge, in which 20 people died and eight were injured.

The Prosecutor’s Office announced on April 18 that Doncho Atanassov and Svetoslav Glosov had failed to deal properly with the poorly carried out road repair work on the stretch near Svoge.

Also charged is the executive director of the Trace company, that carried out the repair work, Bisser Ivanov.

Atanassov and Glosov are on bail of 10 000 leva (about 5000 euro) and Ivanov is on bail of 15 000 leva.

Svetoslav Glosov resigned as head of the agency in January 2019 following the problems in the introduction of the “e-vignette” system.

The Svoge bus crash was the worst of its kind in Bulgaria in more than a decade. It led to the resignation of three Cabinet ministers, and to revised legislation requiring the use of seat belts in some buses.

In August, prosecutors lodged charges against the driver of the bus, Grigor Grigorov, of violating traffic laws and wrongfully causing death.

The investigation that preceded the charges announced on April 18 included testing of samples of road material, questioning of 155 witnesses and the appointment of 46 experts to assist, prosecutors said. Evidence was gathered on the actions and inaction of various officials, the statement said.

Prosecutors said that the investigation had established that Grigorov was exceeding the speed limit on a wet road, collided with two cars, and the bus had gone through a crash barrier and rolled down a slope. It said that the poor quality of the asphalt had contributed to the accident.

The statement said that also being charged were an S Trifonov, head of the Kostinbrod asphalt plant, I Ivanov, technical director, Road Infrastructure Agency head of the projects, finance and credit investments directorate S Popnikolova, and a construction engineer who was a member of the construction monitoring team of the Putkonsult 2000 company, MT.

Another Road Infrastructure Agency official would be charged on April 22, the statement said.

The statement said that Atanassov and Glosov had failed to fulfil their statutory duties, while the other five, through their actions and omissions, had contributed to the deaths and injuries.

(Photo: mvr.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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