By means of the Council of Ministers’ Decree No 250 from 25.11.2005 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.
In the field of railway accident and incident investigation following receipt of a notification of a railway accident or incident on the railway infrastructure of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Board member with competence to investigate railway accidents shall analyze the information and classify the event for further action.
The inspectors of the investigation of railway accidents and incidents shall:
- conduct investigation of accidents and incidents in rail transport by participating in an appointed Commission for investigation;
- apply an accident and incident reporting system;
- shall notify the European Railway Agency of any railway accident or incident which is being investigated;
- have immediate access to the site of the accident, as well as to the rolling stock involved, the railway infrastructure, the safety equipment, the documents and the control devices for objective control;
- shall have the right to access to use the data from the recording devices of the vehicles and the record for registering of the functional status of the signaling and traffic control system;
- shall have the right to access to all evidence relevant to the investigation as well as access to the statements of staff and expert reports of victims, for which they receive assistance from the public authorities whose functions of competence are related to the accident;
- analyse the activities of individuals and legal persons in the field of rail transport and the operation of rolling stock, the objects and the infrastructure facilities related to the accident or incident;
- require and analyze explanations by the participants in accident or incident, from eyewitnesses and other persons associated with the accident or incident;
- make contact with the railway accident investigation authorities of other states for the participation of experts in the case of a serious railway accident, where necessary;
- in the final report of the accident or incident under investigation, make safety recommendations, resulting from the identified causes of the accident or incident under investigation;
- create an electronic database of railway accidents and incidents;
- keep records of the investigations that have been carried out.