Bulgaria Train Trial Defendants Face Up to 15 Years in Jail

Crime | May 3, 2010, Monday // 13:58|  views

The charred sleeping car where 9 people died after the February 2008 blaze in the train traveling from the northern town of Kardam to the capital city of Sofia. Photo by BGNES

Prosecutors have demanded maximum sentences for three defendants, charged with causing the hellish train fire in February 2008 when nine people died while traveling from the capital city of Sofia to the northern town of Kardam.

The District Court in the northern town of Pleven convened for its last hearing on May 3, when it wrapped up the trial. The court will deliver the sentences on the next day.

Georgi Ivanov, deputy head of Passengers' Travels directory and the head of the train I. Kostadinova face from five to fifteen years in jail, while the ticket collector of the ill-fated wagon G. Georgiev may be sentenced to five years behind the bars.

The defendants have been charged with the offence of involuntary homicide by imprudence. They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Valeri Mirchev justified his demand for heavy sentences by pointing out the number of fatalities and the high public interest in the case. He stressed that the investigation has confirmed the charges of involuntary homicide by imprudence.

The probe found out that the head of the train and the ticket collector breached their obligation to first evacuate the passengers and start quenching the fire. The ticket collector is also believed to have been under the influence of alcohol.

The deputy head of Passengers' Travels directory has wrongly issued an order for locking twice the doors of the wagons without getting the approval from the management of the State Railways company.

Nine people were charred to death and nine more injured after two cars of the night train going from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam burst into flames minutes after midnight on February 29, 2008.

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Tags: kardam, charred


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