Cyprus authorities commemorated the tragedy when a powerful explosion happened at the Naval Base in Mari village. 5 years ago, on the 11th of July 2011, 13 people were killed, who received the Heroes awards postmortem.
Moreover, the explosion destroyed the nearby powerstation. According to the preliminary investigation, the cause of explosion was incompliance with the safety measures required when storing explosive subtances. There were 98 containers with weapons and ammunition on the Naval base.
Background history: In January 2009, the vessel “Monchegorsk” was arrested in the Limassol port, which was flying the Cyprus flag, but with Russian crew. On board of the vessel which was enroute from Iran to Syria, the items were found which are prohibited for transportation by the UN. The cargo was confiscated and the ship was released. The 98 containers were place on the Naval base, where they were left on open air without any safety precautions.
After 2,5 years, on 11.07.2011, the devastating explosion occurred. The blast wave damaged the windows in the radius of 1,5 km. The destroyed power station was apparently supplying half of the island with electricity. Power cuts across the island began and the work of various establishments was interrupted. The financial damage reached the amount of 2 billion Euros. The Cyprus authorities were forced, back then, to seek financial help, which became one of the reasons for the financial crisis.
During the commemoration ceremony, the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said the tragedy in Mari has proven that: “The worst thing – is to postpone the decision-making due to fear of responsibility”.