Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (Research Note 6)
Between January and October 2011 thirty-five unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) were recorded globally, bringing the number of such events since 1998 to a total of 302, across 76 UN member states.
The sixth Small Arms Survey Research Note, Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites, originally published in May 2011, has been updated to reflect UEMS events up until the end of October 2011, as well incorporating new information about earlier events. The Research Note offers a concise overview of the problem, giving a breakdown of reported incidents by region and by cause, and outlines practical measures to reduce the likelihood of explosions.
There are numerous causes for unplanned explosions at munitions sites, including lack of technical knowledge, uneven attention to safety standards, poor storage practices, and poor infrastructure.
States exhibiting strong political will can prevent unplanned explosions or mitigate their ramifications. While some solutions are expensive to implement and may require external assistance, many can be undertaken unilaterally and with modest investment.
Since the initial publication of this Research Note the Survey has developed a new online resource on Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites which is regularly updated to include reports of recent UEMS events.
- Download the updated Research Note Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (also available in Albanian, Arabic, BCMS, Bulgarian, French, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swahili).
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