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Railway Accident Investigation Unit



The Railway Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) was established in 2006 in relation to the requirements of Directive 2004/49/EO of the European Parliament and of the Council on safety on the Community’s railways.  By means of the Council of Ministers’ Decree No 250 from 25.11.2005 RAID was established within the structure of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

With effect from 14.11.2006, the Law on Rail Transport (LRT) was amended creating Section II - Investigation of Railway Accidents and Incidents, which regulates the functions and activities of RAIU in the Ministry of Transport.

Main Functions by virtue of Art. 115i of Law on the Rail Transport (LRT) are:

  1. Carry out independent government investigation of railway accidents and incidents occurred on the national railway infrastructure;
  2. Maintain a system for mandatory and voluntary reporting of accidents and incidents in railway transport;
  3. Organize and control technically the investigation of railway accidents and incidents;
  4. Exercise control over the railway undertakings in the investigation of railway accidents and incidents;
  5. Maintain an information database and keep an archive of the railway accidents and  incidents investigated;
  6. In investigation of railway accidents, analyse activities of individuals and legal entities in the field of railway transport and rolling stock operation, and objects and facilities of the railway infrastructure related to the railway event;
  7. In its organization and decision-making, RAIU is independent from the Executive Agency Railway Administration, Railway Infrastructure Manager, railway undertakings and from any other individual or entity whose interests could conflict with the functions of the Unit.

RAIU is supervised by a State Inspector - Head of unit, who is an Engineer in Operation and Management of Rail Transport.

Main Duties

Main Tasks by virtue of Art. 115k of the LRT are:

  1. Investigation of serious accidents and accidents and incidents in railway transport;
  2. At its discretion, takes over the investigation of accidents and incidents, which under different circumstances could lead to the severe consequences of the railway accidents;
  3. Supervises committees for investigation of serious railway accidents and accidents and incidents in the territory of Republic of Bulgaria and in the areas of border crossing;
  4. Each investigation concludes with a final report prepared by the Head of RAIU which is  communicated to parties interested in the accident and is published on the website of RAIU;
  5. In the final report, as well as during investigations, recommendations for improving the level of safety can be given;
  6. Participation in working groups and committees for preparation and amendment of  regulation acts relating to the safety of railway transport and to the investigation;
  7. The addressees of the recommendations report to the Head of RAIU on the measures taken regarding their implementation.

The investigation conducted by RAID aims to prevent the occurrence of other accidents and incidents and increase the level of safety in rail transport.