by Stamen Manolov

... Especially if accompanied by a few sentences to explain the context.

boyko borisov.jpg

The man in the middle is Bulgaria's former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. The location is Hitrino, a village in northeastern Bulgaria. The occasion is a major train accident at the village station that resulted in a huge explosion leaving eight people dead and devastating many people's homes.

Borisov was quick to show up at the scene and have a few pictures of him with members of the fire brigade. He is himself a former firefighter. He also said his government would be giving 10 million leva to support the affected villagers. It is unclear how the train company's insurers would respond.

The two train drivers were arrested and stand accused for manslaughter. The expert commission appointed to investigate the accident said it would take as long as six months to reach any conclusion.
Borisov's governments had for years been ignoring Bulgaria's dilapidated train infrastructure, heavily subsidising it with taxpayers' money and at the same time doing little to improve it and make it profitable. Bulgarian State Railways have had many accidents in the past, often resulting in deaths. Several Bulgarian trains have caught fire, owing to electrical faults, and passengers have burnt alive.

In 1971, the express train from Sofia to Burgas covered the 400-kilometre distance in less than 4.30 hours, about two hours faster than now. The Ruse-Varna railway, the first in Bulgaria, was built in 1866, when Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire, in less than two-and-a-half years. Under Borisov, no railway line in Bulgaria has been even modernised fully.

The picture above has been circulating on social media immediately after his visit. Sometimes an image is indeed worth a million words.


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