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EOD teams have disarmed 6,750 pieces of ordnance this year

A collection of war-era ordnance (photo is illustrative).
A collection of war-era ordnance (photo is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts have received a total of 1,520 calls this year with the majority of the calls having concerned people finding war-era ordnance. EOD teams have disarmed 6,750 pieces of ordnance in 11 month this year, the second largest result since 1992.

By the end of November, EOD teams had received 1,520 calls requesting ordnance disposal. "War-era ordnance is still found on Estonia's territory to this day. Digging and farm work but also natural landslides may unearth dangerous objects," Meelis Mesi from the Rescue Board said.

Calls concerning unexploded munitions numbered 1,108 and responding to these calls, EOD specialists disarmed 6,750 pieces of ordnance. In terms of the number of findings, this is the second largest result since 1992.

In addition, 137,724 cartridges and 3,945 detonators were destroyed. The number of pieces of ordnance rendered harmless was largest at 4,983 in Ida-Viru County, followed by 656 in Saare County, 317 in Harju County and 295 in Tartu County.

The biggest or largest caliber findings have been unearthed in the Kihnu rural municipality in Pärnu County, where two 250-kilogram aerial bombs of Russian origin were found, and in Saare County, where another 250-kilogram aerial bomb of German origin was found.

Underwater EOD work has also been done in Lake Karujärv, at Tehumardi beach and in Pärnu River. Calls regarding large amounts of munitions have numbered ten this year. Large findings have been discovered in Ida-Viru, Tartu and Saare counties.

"The largest finding in terms of volume was found in a forest in Ida-Viru County, where 294 mortar mines, 118 hand grenades, 116 detonators, three shells and two mines were found," Mesi said.

Ordnance disposal teams have responded to explosions of explosive material on three occasions, two of which saw a person get injured.

"While in the past three years, one person has died in explosions involving explosive material per year, this year, as a result of good prevention and good work from our partner institutions, we've managed to keep this number at zero," Mesi said.

"Bomb threats have numbered 21 this year, 14 of them in Harju County, three in Tartu County, two in Ida-Viru County and one each in Lääne-Viru and Jõgeva counties. Making a bomb threat is punishable as a criminal offense. The threat, which is often made in jest, is an offense and generally, everyone who makes a bomb threat is caught," he added.

CBRN responses concerning chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense numbered 20, including one COVID-19 contamination disposal.

The Rescue Board reminds that when an explosive is found, it must not be touched or taken anywhere, the finding should be marked and notified by calling the emergency number 112, providing the exact location and as much information about the finding as possible.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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