Inferno horror in Bulgaria as freight train derails

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Inferno horror in Bulgaria as freight train derails

There are many people injured, many with burns

Georgi Kostov Interior Ministry Chief Secretary

At least five people have been killed and 25 injured after a cargo train derailed and burst into flames in northeast Bulgaria.

Around 20 buildings have been flattened in the village of Hitrino.

Death toll

At least three of the victims remain in a critical condition.

The authorities say the number of fatalities could rise.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has appealed for blood donations at the local hospital treating the injured.

What happened?

Seven of the train’s tanks, carrying propane-butane and propylene, derailed at the station in the village.

The cars hit the overhead electricity line and burst into flames, according to Mincho Lambrev from the National Railway Infrastructure Company.

Battling the blaze

Around 150 firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire.

They are also searching for survivors in houses near the site of the crash.

Police say they are investigating the incident.

Where is Hitrino?

Around 280 kilometres north east of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.

It is home to around 800 people.

In tweets

What they are saying

“Two blasts have caused a serious fire and ruined at least 20 buildings. There are many people injured, many with burns,” – Interior Ministry Chief Secretary, Georgi Kostov.

“There will be more casualties for sure,” – outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov.