Relentless Blasts Reported at Bulgaria's Military Storage

Society | November 14, 2011, Monday // 11:16|  views

A thick cloud of smoke is rising above the former military warehouses in central Bulgaria, where explosions are reported for the third consecutive day. Photo by 24 Hours daily

Blasts at the former military storage facilities near Bulgaria's central town of Sevlievo, though less intense, continue Monday with the last detonation reported at 7:40 am.

The news was announced for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, by Sevlievo Mayor, Ivan Ivanov.

Meanwhile, speaking for the TV channel bTV Monday morning, Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, said that to his knowledge the last blast occurred around 4 pm Sunday, but pointed out he had not yet spoken with anyone from Sevlievo.

Angelov further informed that his institution is not in charge of the facilities because they are former military warehouses, and now – private property.

"I cannot say what exactly happened. The Defense Ministry guards its warehouses according to all rules – no one can guarantee such things won't happen to our facilities, but we have detailed information on any of them," the Minister stressed.

On Saturday, around 9 am, explosions occurred at former military storage facilities between Sevlievo and the village of Lovnidol. The area was sealed and secured.

According to initial reports, the six warehouses belong to a private, Sofia-based company. They were purchased in 2008 and later renovated. Only one contained munitions.

The facilities are aligned with all norms for safe storage of explosives and munitions, police explain, pointing out there are no radioactive substances inside.

The ban on any vehicle and people traffic in the 2-km area around the warehouses continues to be in effect Monday

Also on Monday, robot and auto-pilot aircraft are probing the warehouses. Experts will be able to enter the premises 24 hours after the last explosion.

Measurements of air quality show that all indexes are within the norm and there is no threat of elevated levels of harmful substances. No one had been injured in the blast.

The explosions sent to Sevlievo Saturday Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Kalin Georgiev, and the Chief of Firefighter Services, Nikolay Nikolov.

It was reported Sunday that arson cannot be ruled out as cause of the explosions.

Back in July 2008, a military storage facility at Chelopechene near Sofia exploded, shocking the Bulgarian capital but luckily claiming no lives.

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Tags: Sevlievo, depot, blast, explosion, Chelopechene, munitions, military storage, Kalin Georgiev, Anyu Angelov, arson

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