Friday 12 October 2012

Munitions explosions

While I was away one of the stories I missed was an intriguing item from the Economist on September 29 about explosions at ammunition depots.   Something I have already blogged about on many occasions – see below.

Last month saw a blast at a weapons store at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey that killed 25 soldiers, while in March, in one of the worst munitions accidents ever, 250 people perished in Congo-Brazzaville, as debris was flung over a 2 mile radius.

Since global records started being kept in 1995, 4,600 people have been killed, and last year was the worst single year with 442 deaths in 46 explosions.    Many stores are located near towns, and those in Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union are often poorly run.

Perhaps the deadliest munitions disaster of all time happened in Nigeria in 2002, when a fire began at an open air market in a barracks and then spread to the armaments store.   Perhaps 2,000 people perished, many of them crushed to death in the panic to escape.

 (See also my blogs of May 27, 2010; Feb 17, 2011; March 5, May 20, July 25, and Aug 2, 2012.)

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