Destruction of the mine in the open sea
Foto: HTV / HRT
After an anti-ship mine left behind in the port of Rijeka from World War II was successfully destroyed with explosives in a safe location in the Rijeka Bay, at 2:45 p.m. sirens sounded in the city marking the end of danger and the end of the operation to move and neutralize the mine.
As announced by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Rijeka, the sound of the siren that marked the end of the danger also marked the end of the ban on staying in the red zone of potential immediate danger next to the port of Rijeka.
Therefore, residents of that area, about 500 of them, who were evacuated yesterday, slowly returned to their homes, and traffic in the city center was normalized around 3 p.m.
In a complex action of relocation and neutralization, the mine was lifted from the seabed in the port of Rijeka early on Sunday morning, towed to a safe location in the Rijeka Gulf, and destroyed with explosives at 1:15 p.m.
After an inspection, it was determined that it was a German-made anti-ship mine, located at a depth of 19 meters, partially buried in the muddy bottom. The mine had a total length of 298 cm and a diameter of 70 cm, a total weight of 986 kilograms with 690 kilograms of explosives.
After the explosion, it was checked whether everything was done according to plan, and then the end of the danger was declared.
The entire demanding operation of extracting and neutralizing the left over mine was coordinated by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Rijeka in partnership with the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Police Administration, the Rijeka Special Intervention Police Unit, the Rijeka Regional Anti-Explosion Unit, the Lučko Anti-terrorist Unit, the Mali Lošinj Diving Training Center, the Interior Ministry Command for Interventions, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia, the Directorate of Civil Protection and many other services and institutions:
“Everything ended well. Everything was done according to plan. The mine was neutralized after 1 p.m. I would like to thank my fellow citizens for their discipline. They behaved very responsibly in this unusual situation. I hope that it will not happen again in the near future, even though we found another mine-explosive device, at the construction site from the D403 road. The media and residents will be notified of the removal of this device as well. It is a much simpler operation than this one. Practically 500 people were evacuated from their homes, 15 of them found accommodation in the Youth Hall,” said Mayor Marko Filipović at a press conference after the operation.
“Due to the danger that threatens the port of Rijeka, it was lifted by an elevator and in this way was driven to the place of destruction and was destroyed there. There mine was dangerous all along the way,” said Nenad Krasny, commander of the Special Intervention Police Unit of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Police Department.
“This act today is only a small part of the entire operation that lasted more than two months,” pointed out Goran Gašpert, chief police adviser and head of the Public Order and Security Sector of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Police Department.
“Thanks to citizens who were patient and cooperated and acted according to our instructions. All this helped us to finish this operation even better than planned,” said Hinko Mance, head of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Rijeka.
In addition to the fact that tenants were evacuated on the eve of the action, in the red zone of immediate danger around the port of Rijeka, all road, rail, air and sea traffic was suspended, all economic facilities were closed, and the railway and bus stations were closed and relocated.
An anti-ship mine from the Second World War was discovered on the seabed in the port of Rijeka during infrastructure works at the end of June, and it was partially buried in the muddy bottom.
Due to its characteristics and the location where it was found, it was not possible to destroy the mine in that place, so a plan for its relocation and neutralization was drawn up.
The operation to extract and neutralize the mine was coordinated by the Rijeka City Civil Protection Headquarters in partnership with the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Police Department and other services, and members of the Croatian Army participated in the action, using drones to monitor the roads and waterways designated by the Interior Ministry as security zones.
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