A train transporting gas has derailed and exploded in northeastern Bulgaria, killing and injuring a number of people. Several homes were also destroyed in the disaster.
At least five people have been killed and at least 27 people injured in the northeastern Bulgarian village of Hitrino after a cargo train left the rails and exploded, police said on Saturday.
Two of the train's tanks, containing propane, butane and propylene, hit a power line and exploded when the train derailed at the Hitrino railway station, police spokeswoman Assia Yordannova said.
At least 20 buildings were ruined by the fire, including the train station and the town hall, according to Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Georgi Kostov. Half of the village's 800 residents have been evacuated.
Firefighters have been trying to put out the fire and find survivors in houses near the train lines.
Authorities said many of the surviving victims have been severely burned. Among them, three people had life-threatening injuries and were in the process of being transported to a hospital in the bigger city of Varna.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov was to visit the village, situated some 280 kilometers (174 miles) northeast of the capital, Sofia. He has appealed to residents of the northern city of Shumen to donate blood to help treat survivors.
Police said they were investigating the accident.
tj/jlw (Reuters, AFP)