Rise in Number of Unexploded Ordnance Items Found in 2021

By , 01 Feb 2022, 12:29 PM Lifestyle
A bomb that was found in Maribor in 2019 A bomb that was found in Maribor in 2019 The City of Maribor's Facebook page

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STA, 31 January 2021 - The Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief performed 654 interventions related to unexploded ordnance items in Slovenia last year, which means almost two per day and 30% more than last year. A total of 4,271 unexploded ordnance items were found in 2021, up by 20% on the previous year.

The increase in terms of total mass was even greater, with 13,363 kilograms of bombs removed, a 70% increase compared to 2020, Igor Boh of the administration's bomb disposal unit told the press on Monday.

Various forms of explosives are defined as unexploded ordnance - different types of bombs, land mines, artillery shells, aerial bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, dynamite, ammunition for firearms and detonators, among others.

Boh attributes a part of the increase in the number of finds to the epidemic, as people were home-bound more often and spent more time working in gardens or forests.

Unexploded ordnance items are most often found in the northern part of the western Primorska region, where two fatal accidents occurred last year as two men perished when they tried to take apart old explosive devices they had found.

Boh has urged collectors of military paraphernalia and explosive devices from the times of war to leave them be, and instead collect things that are not in any way explosive or dangerous.

He also said that it was very important to perform preventive inspections before the ground is disturbed and construction work begins in places where the probability of finding unexploded ordnance items is higher.

Boh recalled the most recent case of such kind in Maribor in January, where an unexploded WWII bomb has been found, neutralised and successfully removed from a construction site.

In many cases, the danger due to the increasing age of discovered bombs means that they have to be destroyed on site. There were 167 such cases last year, and a total of 3,021 items weighing more than seven tonnes were destroyed.

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