MA’RIB, YEMEN: Officials at King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) have confirmed that at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, 20 January, five demining experts working with the center’s MASAM project died in an accidental explosion in the Ma’rib governorate. The incident occurred when a vehicle carrying mines and other devices exploded while en route from MASAM’s headquarters to a remote location where the devices were to be destroyed. Although the names of those who died have not officially been released, a KSrelief spokesperson confirmed that their nationalities include two South Africans, one Croatian, one Bosnian and one Kosovan. A British national was also injured.
KSrelief joins with the rest of the international community in mourning the loss of these highly-committed professionals, and expresses its deepest condolences to their families. These brave members of the MASAM team lost their lives while attempting to bring safety and security to the Yemeni people, and their service to mankind will not be forgotten.
The Saudi Project to Demine Yemen, known as MASAM, began on 25 June 2018. The purpose of the program is to locate and destroy a wide range of explosive devices which were illegally planted by Houthi militias throughout Yemen during the ongoing conflict in the country. It is estimated that more than a million such devices have been deployed, causing injury and loss of life to thousands of Yemenis.
A full investigation into the tragic incident has been launched in coordination with MASAM project experts and local authorities, and more details will be released as soon as they are available.