2009 Yambol bus crash

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Yambol bus crash
Автобусна катастрофа край Ямбол
Yambol location in Bulgaria.png
Location of Yambol in Bulgaria
DateMay 28, 2009
LocationRoad to Bakadzhik peak near Yambol, Bulgaria
Deaths18 [1]
InjuredAt least 20 [2]

The 2009 Yambol bus crash occurred on 28 May 2009 near the city of Yambol in southeastern Bulgaria. Eighteen people died, and around twenty were injured. [3] [1] The driver was among the wounded, and died in prison during his ten-year sentence.



The victims had been walking up the Bakadzhik peak to attend a traditional Ascension Day (Spasovden) feast and fair held on the summit. Around 9:15 AM local time the bus, a Chavdar 11M4 operated by the Yambol transport company MCI Slavi Slavov, crashed into a group of pedestrians while descending from a tour to the Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church located at the summit

Although the bus had been declared roadworthy on 12 May, some speculate that the cause for the accident may have been brake failure. Other factors that contributed to the tragedy were the narrow road, the high speed and the damp asphalt. The driver, 60-year-old Gospodin Gospodinov, was legally sober. [4] He was seriously injured and treated at Pirogov Hospital in Sofia. [5]

Most of the victims were over 60 years old, and one a 16-year-old boy. Thirteen dead were women and five were men; [3] all were from Yambol or the nearby villages. Twenty people were injured, four initially in critical condition due to head trauma. [5]


29 May was declared a national day of mourning in Bulgaria. Political parties paused their European Parliament election campaigns for the next few days. [6] The National Assembly of Bulgaria observed a minute of silence as the news broke out. [3] President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev changed their schedules and visited the scene of the accident, their offices said. [7]


Post-crash inspection revealed that the bus had numerous technical deficiencies. Its brakes provided only 23% brake force; nails, wire, and a coin were found to have been used to carry out repairs on the bus. [8]

In 2012, bus driver Gospodin Gospodinov and bus owner Slavi Slavov were each sentenced to ten years in prison. Gospodinov died there a few months later, while Slavov absconded until his January 2018 capture. The workshop that declared the bus roadworthy did not face any legal consequences. [9]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "18-та жертва от катастрофата на Бакаджика" (in Bulgarian). News.bg. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  2. "Death Toll of Bulgaria Hellish Bus Crash Hits 16". Sofia News Agency. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  3. 1 2 3 Bulgaria bus crash leaves 16 dead (BBC)
  4. "Катастрофа с автобус в Ямболско, жертвите вече са 16" (in Bulgarian). Дневник. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  5. 1 2 "Трагедия край Ямбол" (in Bulgarian). News.bg. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  6. Иванова, Ива (2009-05-28). "29 май — Ден на национален траур" (in Bulgarian). News.bg. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  7. Bulgaria Bus Crash Kills at Least 16 (CBS News)
  8. Монета от 5 стотинки погубила 18 души на Бакаджика (Frog News)
  9. 8 г. след драмата на Бакаджика - един беглец и един мъртвец (dir.bg)