7 killed, 29 injured in Bulgarian tanker train explosionworld Updated: Dec 11, 2016 09:03 IST
An aerial view shows the wreckage of a train transporting gas after it derailed and exploded in the northeastern Bulgarian village of Hitrino on December 10, 2016. At least seven people died and 27 were injured in the blast, emergency services said. Around 20 homes were smashed and many of the residents of the village of some 800 people were evacuated. (AFP Photo)
A derailed tanker train exploded Saturday and decimated a village in northeastern Bulgaria, killing seven people and leaving least 29 injured, many with severe burns, the Interior Ministry said.
Authorities said about 50 buildings in the village of Hitrino were destroyed when containers of gas exploded at 5:40 am.
Video footage showed many houses in the village of 800 on fire and ambulances taking the injured to hospitals. Hitrino Mayor Nuridin Ismail told reporters that children had been buried under the rubble of a house that collapsed.
Two tanker cars carrying propane-butane and propylene derailed at the station in Hitrino, hit nearby electric lines and exploded, police officials said. The engine driver survived and has been questioned, police said.
Officials earlier had described the cargo as liquefied natural gas.
The entire village was evacuated later Saturday as a precaution due to the risk of possible new explosions. Emergency teams started a high-risk operation to reload the hazardous substances.
Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who arrived at the site of the blast, urged citizens to donate blood to address shortages at nearby hospitals.
“There will be more casualties,” Borisov told reporters.
He said several people suffered more than 90% burns and that damage from the explosion was extensive.
The train had been travelling from the Bulgarian Black Sea port city of Burgas to the Danube city of Ruse.
The government declared Monday a national day of mourning for the victims of the blast.
First Published: Dec 11, 2016 09:02 IST