Powerful explosions rock Bulgarian capital

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Old 03-Jul-2008
Post Powerful explosions rock Bulgarian capital

Powerful explosions rock Bulgarian capital

Published: July 03, 2008, 09:59

Sofia: A series of powerful explosions at an arms storage complex on the outskirts of Sofia rocked the Bulgarian capital on Thursday, panicking thousands and breaking windows, authorities and eyewitnesses said.
It was not yet clear whether the blasts, which happened near the village of Chelopechene, on the eastern outskirts of Sofia, caused any injuries or major damage. The defence ministry said guards at the four dumps in the complex were evacuated.
Rescuers had been unable to reach the main blast site as ammunition continued to detonate, police and civil defence officials said.
"This morning at 6.30 am a fire has broken out in the area of Chelopechene and explosions followed," the ministry of emergencies said in a statement.
The site of the military unit has been cordoned off by the police.

The blasts shook apartment blocks and broke windows in eastern districts of Sofia, eyewitnesses said. People ran in panic in the streets.
"The house was shaking, I thought it was an earthquake," a tearful woman, who lives in Chelopechene, told national radio.
Officials urged people to stay at home. "Our checks show that there are no harmful emissions in the air and mass evacuation is not needed," said Valeri Mladenov, head of civil defence in Sofia.

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