838 Explosives Found near Bulgaria's Blasted Ammo Depot

Environment | June 20, 2012, Wednesday // 12:52|  views

Army servicemen, who are in the process of securing the area of a blasted ammo depot in southeastern Bulgaria, have found a large amount of unexploded shells in nearby farming field. Photo by BGNES

A large number of explosive residues, 838, have been found in farm fields around Petolachkata junction in southeastern Bulgaria after the blast an ammo depot there.

Colonel, Ivan Syarov, told bTV that the largest amount has been discovered on Tuesday and all finds are being listed and described, but sappers lack equipment to take pictures of the fields.

Because of the latter fact, the army is using standard equipment with every single square meter checked individually by a serviceman with a metal detector that can search at depths of 25-30 meters.

Syarov further informed the army is working as fast as possible to allow farmers to take care of the crops. About 1 300 decares have been cleaned so far, with the security zone remaining 1 km-wide, down from the previous 3 km.

The Mayor of the village of Lozenets, which sustained the most damage, informed all 200 buildings that were affected are now listed and appraised.

The Prosecutor's Office, probing the blast, says they have not discovered evidence of the explosions being set off deliberately.

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. Three of the ammunition depot's employees went missing and were officially declared dead 3 days later by the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Commissar Kalin Georgiev. On June 12, the Yambol regional prosecutor informed 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.

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.

Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, insists the company has committed safety violations.

The main leads in the cause of the incident are human error, safety violations, and the new technology for the dismantling of shells, implemented just several months ago.

The Defense Ministry annulled its contract with the Bereta Trading company for ammo detonation and will seek compensations.

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


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