Train Incident Disrupts Troubled Bulgarian Railways' Schedule

Business | November 13, 2011, Sunday // 14:54|  views

Train No. 2615 of the Bulgarian State Railways BDZ caught on fire in July on the route from the capital Sofia to the Black Sea city of Varna. Photo by BGNES

Passengers from seven Bulgarian trains on the railroad connecting the Black Sea city of Varna and the town of Karnobat have been bused over the latest incident shaking Bulgaria's troubled State-owned Railways Company, BDZ.

At 4:10 am Sunday, a freight train composition on the Varna-Karnobat section broke, causing the second car to mount on the buffers of the first one. All train traffic in the area has been immediately halted with the two damaged cars being repaired on the spot to allow the freight train to be moved. Until then, all passengers will be bused.

The case with the freight train is the latest in a string of increasingly serious incidents shaking the country's railroad company.

On August 10, the express train servicing the line between the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Black Sea city of Varna caught on fire. No one was been injured, but several people suffered panic attacks.

On July 20, train No. 2615 of the Bulgarian State Railways BDZ caught on fire on route from the capital Sofia to the Black Sea city of Varna. The train was stopped and the 214 passengers were evacuated intact. However, the fire spread to the first two passenger cars before the fire brigade units arrived at the scene, more than an hour after the fire started, because of the rough terrain.

On June 29, 2011, a local train between Cherven Bryag and Montana in Northwestern Bulgaria had to stop near Vratsa because of a fire on board, without any victims.

On June 10, 2011, the locomotive of a freight train also caught on fire near Simeonovgrad in Southern Bulgaria, with the driver managing to flee intact.

The most severe train incident in Bulgaria since 1992 was also caused by a train fire when 9 persons were burned to death, and 9 others were injured in the night Sofia-Kardam train in February 2008 near Cherven Bryag.

Meanwhile, the trade unions announced that Bulgarian State Railways workers are going on a national strike against government plans to lay off 2 000 workers. BDZ is in shambles with outdated cars, engines, and infrastructure, and a staggering debt of BGN 800 M, and has become the subject of an investigation by the European Commission.

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Tags: EC, European Commission, state aid, Strike, trade unions, lay off, sofia, Varna, train, train blaze, train accident, train fire, Sofia-Varna train, fire, BDZ, Bulgarian State Railways, fire, incident, freight train


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