Cyprus Mail

Memorials held for those killed in Mari blast

One of the services in Limassol

Memorials were held at various churches around the island on Sunday morning for those who lost their lives following the explosion at the naval base in Mari on July 11, 2011.

The sacrifice of the 13 people who lost their lives at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base caused “unbearable pain to all, and with it key and serious questions about the responsibilities of the State and the actions and omissions of its leader,” Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Sunday at the memorial for Captain Lambros Lambrou.

Ministers addressed memorials for 12 of those killed at churches on Sunday morning. The remaining memorial will be held next Sunday.

In 2009 Cyprus had seized a cargo of nearly 100 munitions containers from the Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk that was en route to Syria from Iran in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The containers were subsequently left to boil under the sun at the Mari naval base for two years until the munitions eventually exploded on July 11, 2011, killing seven sailors and six firefighters who were trying to put out the flames that broke out at the storage site, an open space at the Evangelos Florakis naval base.

The blast also incapacitated the island’s biggest power station, located next door to the base, causing rolling power cuts for a month.

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