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DDAS, 1998, Mozambique, missed mine, M969, AP
The investigators visited the site on 17/18th November 1998. The accident occurred near the base of one of 34 pylons being cleared of defensive mines in a "Survey/UXO" task that started on 6th June 1998. Each tower was protected by "up to 45 mines". By the date of the accident the team had found and destroyed a total of 421 M969 mines around 17 of the pylons (8-10 around each "leg"). Work was under way at three pylons. The soil had "a high laterite" content so the clearance was being conducted by excavating using an enxada [a hoe like a pick-axe]. At 10:15 the Team Supervisor and his assistant were watching the work of a deminer. They instructed the deminer to stop work and go to collect more marker sticks so that he could correctly mark the area he had just cleared ("about 3m of ground"). The deminer left his lane and the Assistant Team Leader took his place and continued to excavate the ground. This is not usual practice but he later explained that he was trying to "neaten" the cleared area. At 10:20 he detonated an M969 mine with the hoe. When the Team Supervisor arrived he found the victim "staggering" around. It was noted that the victim was conscious and remained calm throughout.