Investigators Suspect Human Error Led To Blast at Explosives Plant

Incidents | October 3, 2014, Friday // 21:39|  views

Mines crates stored near the site of the blast at the explosives factory in Gorni Lom, 2 October 2014. Photo BGNES

Investigators suspect a gross human error had caused the blast at the explosives plant in Gorni Lom, in Vidin region, prosecuting authorities have said.

Vidin Regional Prosecutor Marusya Ilieva told a news conference in Gorni Lom that a breach of labour safety regulations could also be suspected as a reason for the blast that claimed the lives of 15 people on Wenesday.

Parts of motor cars have been found only meters away from the site of the blast, explosives expert and former deputy Defence Minister Valentin Radev told BNT TV channel. According to him, a spark originating from those vehicles might have triggered the huge explosion.

Four craters, the largest one six meters in diameter, remain gaping in the ground in the place where the two buildings had been located. Investigators say the heat from the blast had been so intense that metal, concrete and stone components had all been turned to ash.

Following initial inspection of the site of the blast that had incinerated two workshops of the plant, only a shoe and biological material were discovered by the investigators, a report by TV7 station showed on Friday. The biological material is the only trace left for the potential indentification of the victims.

The victims were 13 men and two women, Nikolay Nikolov, head of the Interior Ministry's Fire Safety Directorate said on Friday. Another three women, who were injured in the blast, remain in hospital but their condition is not serious, according to Nikolov.

Employees at the plant were working under a contract with a Greek company to recover explosives from withdrawn mines when the blast occurred.

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Tags: Gorni Lom, explosion, blast, explosives, human error, safety regulations


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