Journal of Defense Management

Journal of Defense Management
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0374

+44 1478 350008


Could the Kornati Islands Firefighting Tragedy have been Avoided with Better Occupational Medicine and Safety?

Lalic Hrvoje

The objective of this paper is to answer the question whether firefighters� tragedy on the Kornati Islands in Croatia could have been avoided or at least diminished by occupational medicine and safety measures. In August 2007 twelve firemen died fighting fire caused by burn-out of inhomogeneous gas mixture due to burning vegetation and strong wind. Only the thirteenth firefighter survived with serious burns. Three weeks later the volunteer fire company secretary hanged himself and captain underwent psychiatric treatment. The fire brigade chief has been under police investigation. There have been many victims, direct and indirect ones, bound to carry their scars for life. Obviously the roots of the disaster are deep, and here is an attempt to analyze them. If the principles of modern occupational medicine had been observed the tragedy might have been diminished, i.e. there would have been no underage victims. By recognizing the principles of occupational safety and fire protection many lives might have been saved.