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Blast at Bulgarian military plant kills one US citizen, injures four others

An explosion at a military plant in central Bulgaria has killed one US citizen and injured four other people. The accident happened during a grenade-launcher test.

The blast occurred during grenade-launcher firing at the military complex in the village of Anevo in central Bulgaria. The complex belongs to the state-owned arms producer VMZ Sopot.

"The US Embassy regretfully confirms the death of one Department of Defense contractor and the injury of two other contractors and a Bulgarian translator in a training accident on June 6 in Anevo," the embassy said in a statement. It did not offer any other details.

Bulgarian authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Together with the American who died, one of the injured was from Canada, and the other from the US, according to local reports. The other two were of Bulgarian nationality.

The mayor of the local town said there had been "no panic" among residents after the blast, "nor was there any danger of further explosions."

The latest accident comes after a series of powerful blasts at an explosives plant in the north west of the country killed 15 employees and injured three others last October. Government officials had warned of serious safety breaches at the factory two months before.

jm/bk (Reuters, EFE)