NPA employee killed in accident in Lebanon
One of our colleagues has died in a tragic accident during a clearance operation in Southern Lebanon on Wednesday.
The accident happened on Wednesday around 10.00 AM Norwegian time.
“This is a very tragic accident and we are now working to clarify the causes and assist the family of the deceased. One of our staff members is already on their way to Lebanon and will arrive this evening, both to assist in the investigation of the accident, but also to assist the family of the deceased”, said Per Nergaard, Director of Civil Protection and Emergency Planning at Norwegian People's Aid.
All of NPA’s operations in Lebanon will be temporarily stopped and an investigation into the causes of the accident will be conducted. Norwegian People's Aid follows very strict international procedures in these investigations.
NPA has been clearing explosives in this area of Lebanon since 2006. Nobody else was injured in the accident.
“We are terribly sorry for what has happened and for the loss of a good colleague. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased. This is dangerous work, but we also know that the efforts to remove landmines and cluster bombs are of vital importance for the locals”, said Liv Tørres, Secretary General of NPA.
“The safety of all our employees is our highest priority and we devote considerable resources to training and preparedness. Accidents as this one unfortunately show that it is impossible to safeguard completely against the dangers that these workers are exposed to every days”, says Per Nergaard.
Norwegian People's Aid has had an average of one fatality a year linked to clearance operations since 1992, when we began our demining work.
“This figure may seem high, but the statistics are still good considering the dangerous situation in many of the areas where the demining operations take place and the large number of demining operations. Nevertheless, every accident is one too many”, said Nergaard.
Norwegian People's Aid has 1,800 deminers in place in 22 countries worldwide.
Press contact: Per Nergaard +47 909 80 311