Munition Explosions Caused 4.5-Magnitude Quake in Bulgaria, Fire Brigade Chief Claims

Environment | June 5, 2012, Tuesday // 18:46|  views

The incident in which an ammunition depot exploded near the city of Sliven in Southeastern Bulgaria Tuesday afternoon has caused a 4.5-magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale, Nikolay Nikolov, the head of the Bulgarian Fire Brigade Service, declared.

The blasts at the ammo site near the Petolachkata road junction close to Sliven occurred at 2:40 pm on Tuesday, injuring at least 7 people, two of them critically. The facility in question is the property of a Sofia-based firm, Bereta Trading, which uses it to dismantle munitions – including shells from the Chelopechene military depot near Sofia that exploded in July 2008.

There is no threat to the population centers nearby, and no need for evacuation. We are monitoring the air constantly. We have provided medical aid to the people because some might feel sick, or get heart attacks as a result of the stress," Nikolov told BNR.

Nikolov's words contradict the official statement of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

According to Prof. Nikolay Miloshev, Director of the Geophysics Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the blasts near Sliven caused an earthquake with a magnitude of 1.5 on the Richter Scale.

His statement came early Tuesday night, after earlier the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences announced it had registered no earthquake that might have caused the blasts. Meanwhile, the blasts did cause panic among the local population, with the people mistaking the explosions for an earthquake in the wake of the 5.8-6.0-magnitude earthquake that jolted Sofia and Western Bulgaria on May 22, 2012.

Shortly before the blasts at the Bereta Trading depot near Sliven, however, at 2:35 pm on Tuesday, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences detected a 2.4-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter close to the town of Elhovo, some 60 km to the south of the region of Sliven and Yambol and the site of the exploding ammunition facility.

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Tags: injured, road junction, blasts, ammunition depot, Sliven, Yambol, Petolachkata, Lozenets village, straldzha, explosion, explosions, Chelopechene, Defense Ministry, Bereta Trading, Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Interior Minister, Desislav Delev, Nikolay Miloshev, BAS, Geophysical Institute, Geophysics Institute, Geophysics Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Earthquake, earthquakes, blasts, blast, explosion, explosions, Nikolay Nikolov, fire brigade


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