Croatia

Croatia: Tragic Mine Incident near Zadar

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On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, at 09,30 hrs, the employee of the demining company Piper Ltd. Mr. Renato Poli? Strini? from Požega was killed by a mine. The unfortunate deminer stepped on an antipersonnel mine PROM-1 that is for sure one of the most dangerous mines with devastating power that large number of people in Croatia were hurt from. The incident happened during demining of the area between the communities of Musapstan and Murvice near Zadar.

Upon Christmas and New Year's holidays, demining operations began on 15 worksites in Zadar County on the total layout area of 2.800.000 square meters. The tragedy seems even worse when we remember that the late deminer was a father of four children under-age.

During 2009, seven persons were involved in mine incidents. Four were killed, two suffered major bodily injuries and one person suffered minor bodily injuries. Another deminer was killed during demining in Kotar šuma near Petrinja. One deminer suffered minor bodily injuries and one suffered major bodily injuries. Human lives are considered one of the greatest values of all - in terms of humanitarian demining as well. In its development, Croatian Mine Action Centre has been putting great efforts in securing the quality of operations in terms of constant supervision over the operations in progress and definition of standards. While performing demining operations, the companies are equipped with modern protective equipment, most modern mine detection tools and sophisticated demining machines that seem to be used more and more every day. What is most important, we educate deminers on an annual basis and, in that way, regularly increase the total number of highly educated deminers. Demining companies are faced with extremely high safety standards at the worksites that are being tested on a regular basis through testing of demining machines and equipment.

Unfortunately, such tragedies happen. Mines, as the most perfidious remnants of Homeland war, are relentlessly taking their toll that is smaller and smaller every year.

CROMAC director and the entire staff that are deeply shaken by this tragic event have expressed their condolences to the family of the late deminer and the company Piper Ltd. he was employed in.