Blast-ravaged Bulgaria Demands State Recovery Help

Environment | June 12, 2012, Tuesday // 11:37|  views

A group of army servicemen was dispatched over the weekend to secure the area of a blasted ammo depot in southeastern Bulgaria, after a farmer found 3 unexploded shells in his field. Photo by BGNES

The Mayor of Bulgaria's southeastern municipality of Stradlzha, Mitko Andonov, demands urgent State help for the areas affected by last week's ammo depot explosions.

On Tuesday, June 5, a series of explosions occurred at a private-owned ammo site near the Petolachkata road junction close to Sliven, injuring 9 people, two of them critically, all currently upgraded to stable. Three of the ammunition depot's employees went missing and were officially declared dead Friday by the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Commissar Kalin Georgiev.

In a letter to Speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, the Mayor asks for conducting ASAP DNA analysis of the remains of the victims, help in cremating them and giving the urns to the families for burials.

Andonov further calls for speedy clean-up of the villages, farm lands and forests in the proximity of the depot from unexploded shells and other ammo, compensations to owners, building repairs, and compensations to farmers for lost crops.

"The State must urgently decide the issue with the future cultivation of the damaged farm lands and make a full environmental assessment. In this difficult moment, we expect help from the government, and I am also turning to the Prime Minister and all members of the cabinet. I further demand a reexamination of the rules and regulations for working with dangerous substances, particularly in the utilization of ammunitions, the preparation of a new law for stricter procedures in issuing licenses and monitoring the work with ammunitions and their transport," the letter reads.

The blasts have damaged 178 residential buildings, 32 public ones, 68 stores and other commercial space, 5 industrial shops, and the water pump providing water for the town of Straldzha and three nearby villages.

The damage at the mountain cabin "Lyulyak" is yet to be assessed since the building is still inaccessible.

It remains unclear how many hectares of forests have been affected, but over 7 000 dekares of farm lands cannot currently be cultivated over the threat of dispersed unexploded ammo.

The wheat harvest is currently impossible, while wine yard owners are also expected to sustain losses since they are prevented now from spraying and expect lower quality grapes.

The depot is owned and managed by the Bereta Trading company.

Earlier Tuesday, the Yambol regional prosecutor declared that human remains found at the site were confirmed by DNA analysis to belong to one of the three workers.

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Tags: straldzha, Tsetska Tsacheva, forests, farm lands, compensations, damage, help, state, Mitko Andonov, straldzha, Yambol, Bereta Trading, detonation, Kalin Georgiev, blast, explosions, ammo site, depot, ammunition, Sliven, shells


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