LARNACA - The 98 shipping containers full of confiscated explosives at the Mari Naval Base were a time bomb waiting to go off, Larnaca assize court heard Tuesday.
Two of ten Greek experts called into make reports following the blast that killed 13 men on July 11, 2011, had scathing comments to make about the storage and handling of the explosives.
One expert, Naval Commander Ioannis Drimousis, described the cache of 98 containers as a time bomb and said that action should have been taken to freeze the contents of one particular container when it exhibited signs of instability some days before the eventual explosion.
The other expert Christos Kalogeropoulos, an arson expert from the Greek fire Service, also said that it the correct action had been taken when the first signs were seen then the disaster would have definitely been avoided.
He added that an explosives store of this kind should have been at least 7.5kms away from the closest habitation and that he would have recommended that the naval base be evacuated, adding that he would have done this in writing to the authorities involved. He would also have withdrawn the firefighters.
On trial in connection with the explosion are former Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, former Defence Minister Kostas Papakostas, the former Deputy Chief of the National Guard Savvas Argyros and suspended officers of the Fire Brigade and EMAK emergency response team A. Nicolas, C. Charalambous and A. Loizides.