Bulgarian Appeals Court to Hear Case of Fatal Train Fire

Society | January 13, 2011, Thursday // 08:27|  views

Nine people died after two cars of the night train going from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam burst into flames minutes after midnight. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Court of Appeals in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo will hear Thursday the case for the tragedy in the Sofia-Kardam night train in February 2008, the Bulgarian private TV channel bTV reported.

Nine people died and nine more were seriously injured after flames swept through two cars of a night train, traveling from Bulgaria's capital city of Sofia to the northern town of Kardam, most like after an electrical short circuit, on the night of February 28 2008.

The trial was brought back to the court after protests and appeals against the ruling from May 2009 of the Pleven District Court, which ordered 12 years imprisonment for the train conductor Georgi Georgiev and 8 years imprisonment for the director of the train, Ivanka Kostadinova.

The court then also acquitted the Deputy Head of the Bulgarian State Railways, Georgi Ivanov and ordered the payment of BGN 100,000 in compensation to every one of the victims' relatives.

The Prosecutor's Office insisted that the Court of Appeals in Veliko Tarnovo should rule the maximum penalty, which is 15 years imprisonment, for the two convicted and should rule an effective punishment for the acquitted.

The defendants appeal their sentences, while the victims' relatives demand higher compensations.

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Tags: sofia, kardam, train, Court of Appeals, Veliko Tarnovo, Pleven, District Court


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