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Bulgarian freight train derails and explodes, killing five

media captionAerial footage of train derailment in Bulgaria

A train carrying liquid petroleum gas has derailed and exploded in Bulgaria, killing at least five people.

More than 20 people are being treated in hospital with burns and other injuries after the incident in the village of Hitrino, local media say.

The authorities ordered an evacuation as firefighters battled the blaze.

At least 20 buildings were damaged in the derailment and explosion, spokesperson Nikolay Nikolov told Bulgaria's Nova television.

Two tanks hit an electricity line and exploded when the train derailed near the village station at about 05:30 local time (03:30 GMT), according to several reports.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who arrived at the village several hours after the blast, told reporters: "there will be more casualties."

Several people suffered burns to more than 90% of their bodies, he added, and appealed to people in the region to donate blood to the local hospital's supply.

image copyrightAP
image captionNo reason has yet been given for the derailment
image copyrightAP
image captionMany buildings were damaged in the explosion
image copyrightReuters
image captionSmoke continued to rise over the village of Hitrino hours after the explosion

Hitrino, a town of around 800 people, is located in Bulgaria's north-eastern Shumen province, about 60 miles (100km) from the Black Sea.

Transport Minister Ivalyo Moskovski and other top rail officials were also going to the scene.

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  • Bulgaria