Bulgarian Army Starts Mass Cleaning of Blasted Ammo Depot

Environment | June 13, 2012, Wednesday // 11:56|  views

A photo by BGNES shows the explosion at a privately-owned ammunition depot near the Petolachkata road junction close to Sliven in Southeastern Bulgaria that occurred on June 5.

Over 140 Bulgarian servicemen from the Land Forces began Wednesday a mass cleaning effort at the blasted ammo depot in southeastern Bulgaria.

The cleaning of explosives will involve a perimeter of 3 km beyond the site of the depot and will conclude on June 29. The action comes under a decree of Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov. He also ordered assistance to State and local administration in eliminating the damage caused by the blast.

The servicemen will be rotated while army officers will explain to locals their work and what needs to be done upon stumbling on an unexploded shell or other explosives.

On 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 last Friday by the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Commissar Kalin Georgiev.

The depot is owned by the Bereta Trading company.

So far, the main leads in the cause of the incident were human error and/or safety violations, but a new one emerged Wednesday. The Bulgarian Standard daily writes that a new technology for the dismantling of shells, implemented just two months ago, might have triggered the blast.

Speaking off-the-record, workers and people from nearby villages have told media about the new technology. The Bereta Trading owner, Delislav Delev, cited by Standard, explained that the technology used at the depot was largely modeled after the German company "Rein Metal," but declined giving any details.

The authorities investigating the incident are checking now if the qualifications of those employed at the depot had been the ones required for such line of work; if the tool used to cut the shells had coolant in it or not, which could have triggered the first spark; how prior checks that failed to establish violations were conducted.

New bio material has been sent to the National Criminology Institute.

On 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, a man identified as Stanimir Kirov.

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Tags: damage, help, state, Bereta Trading, detonation, Kalin Georgiev, blast, explosions, ammo site, depot, ammunition, Sliven, shells, cleaning, army, servicemen, Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, Delislav Delev, technology


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