Професор Симеон Ананиев, фотографија ставена на располагање со дозвола на авторот

Meta.mk conducted an interview with Simeon Ananiev, the President of the Association of Forensic Scientists of Bulgaria and a professor at the Todor Kableshkov University of Transport in Sofia after the accident of the Besa Trans BTB’s bus near Pernik, Bulgaria.

The tragic accident of the Besa Trans bus on the motorway “Struma caused an avalanche of speculations about the cause of the accident, even though the Bulgarian authorities announced that the whole investigation will take 6 months. From your viewpoint, what are the probable causes for the accident that will be proven or rejected first, during the procedure? What are some of the causes that will take more time for the authorities to prove or to reject?

-From my viewpoint, the basic reason for the accident is the driver, whose attention might have dropped due to fatigue or falling asleep behind the wheel. The time of the accident was 2 am. The buses have speed limiters and the bus can drive up to 100 km/h. The forensic investigation will determine whether this limiter was removed by the driver and also what the speed of the bus was at the time of the accident – whether it was above the allowed 100 km/h.

Another cause might be technical malfunction of the vehicle. According to the initial data, the bus was produced in 2007. This bus has had over 310 passes across Bulgaria in 2020 i.e. at every three days. Such exploitation can cause the basic elements to wear out and increase the need for very good servicing. The expertise will help determine the exact age and the real condition of the bus’s parts, the maintenance, etc. The responsibility lies on the driver and the company that owns the bus.

While researching, we discovered that a round trip ticket Istanbul to Skopje costs 25 EUR on the Internet, which is cheaper than the round ticket from Sofia to Skopje. How is it possible for the passenger transportation companies to earn with such low ticket prices?

-There is no business that has losses and continues working. The transits across Bulgaria took place every 3 to 5 days. The economic analysis of the revenues from a full bus and the fixed expenditures for the bus maintenance, the various certificates and documents, fuel, staff salaries, make it clear they are not enough to get profit. In Bulgaria there are comments that the revenues of the transporting company may come from smuggling goods and transportation of illegal migrants.

How strict are the controls in Bulgaria and Macedonia and do you think that the controls during the international transfer of passengers with buses and vans are regular?

-I don’t know how close we are as nations, but when it comes to corrupt practices and lack of control and responsibility, we are at the top in Europe. I cannot say who is first of the pack, but the competition continues. In some sense, what happened shows that there is no regular and efficient control during the passenger transportation in the international transport with buses and vans. I cannot explain to myself what the state bodies actually do – border police, customs services, control of passenger transport – many structures, good salaries – and the results are evident…