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Cyprus remembers the victims of deadly blast at naval base

11 July, 2014

Cyprus remembered today the victims of the deadly blast that occurred in 2011 at the naval base near Limassol.

A memorial service was held in the morning at the “Evangelos Florakis” naval base, on the southern coast, where the explosion occurred on July 11th 2011 claiming the lives of 13 men, naval personnel and firemen.

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades pledged that the state will not allow such a tragedy to happen again.

This tragedy, he added, should unite everybody in the efforts to proceed with those necessary reforms against negligence and state failure which led to the death of 13 people.

He also talked about the two bills submitted by the government to the House of Representatives which define the responsibilities of Ministers and other state officials, saying the government awaits for their ratification.

"The deep sorrow for the tragic and unjust loss of our heroes will always accompany us, no matter how many years go by”, the President said.

Concluding, he said that “we must find the important elements that unite us, as people, especially during these difficult times of economic and political challenges”.

Thirteen people were killed and around 60 were injured on July 11, 2011, when a massive explosion occurred at the naval base, badly damaging the island’s main power plant, at Vasiliko.

The blast occurred in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from “Monchegorsk”, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009 after it was determined they were in breach of UN Security Council resolutions on Iran. They had been stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in containers that were left exposed to the elements until the day they exploded.

The shock wave of the blast caused significant damage to the island’s biggest power station, located in the area, which has had a fallout on the economy.