GUIDELINES FOR IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLINESS AND SAFETY OF RAILWAY TRANSPORT FREIGHTS OF DANGEROUS CARGO WITHIN THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
Keywords:rail transport, transport of dangerous goods, guidelines for improving the safety of transport of dangerous goods
The ecological, social and safety implications of railway transport freights of dangerous cargo require addressing the fact that while hazardous substances are an integral part of people’s way of life in the modern age, they can adversely and severely affect living standards. The incorrect storage, transportation, loading and unloading of dangerous cargo could pose a serious threat to people, their property and the environment. In recent years, accidents involving the transportation of dangerous cargo have become more frequent. An indicative example in this regard is the explosion of several cisterns containing propane-butane at the railway station in the village of Hitrino – a severe accident which killed seven people and injured ninety-nine. This can be classified as an ecological and social disaster. The present article is a response to a multitude of such accidents and to issues such as poor conditions of railway infrastructure, outdated and obsolete rolling stock, lack of qualified personnel and lack of measures for limiting harmful impact on the environment. The goal of this paper is to justify the necessity for improving the environmental friendliness and safety of railway transport freights of dangerous cargo within the Republic of Bulgaria and to indicate specific measures and guidelines to this effect. The topicality of the paper is supported by the probability of reoccurrence of these ecological disasters with irreversible consequences for people and the environment.
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