kornat.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ ua

The ninth anniversary of the biggest tragedy in the history of firefighting in Croatia was commemorated on the island of Kornat, the site of a wildfire in which 12 firemen from Sibenik, Vodice and Tisno were killed. Only one survived.

The victims' families, friends and colleagues as well as government and state officials gathered for the ceremony, at which a mass was said in a chapel erected by the site of the tragedy.

The victims' families commemorated yet another anniversary of the tragedy with a feeling of dissatisfaction and bitterness since the circumstances of the accident, which happened on August 30, 2007, have not been cleared up yet.

The families are dissatisfied because the trial of Drazen Slavica, a former fire marshal in Sibenik, has failed to provide any information on how the tragedy happened.

The Zadar County Court in September 2013 acquitted Slavica of the responsibility for the firemen's deaths. The Supreme Court then quashed the ruling for procedural errors and ordered a retrial, which is to start in Zadar on September 19.

Chief firefighting commander Slavko Tucakovic told reporters the situation in firefighting services today was better than at the time of the Kornat tragedy, which, he said, had led to improvements, one of them being that minors are no longer sent to fire sites, which is what happened at Kornat in 2007.

The only survivor of the Kornat fire is Frane Lucic, a member of the volunteer firefighting unit from Tisno, who managed to recover from grave injuries and burns sustained in the Kornat wildfire.

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