Q&A on what ERW causes most civilian injury



"Discounting mines, which ERW items cause most injury/death to civilians?"

This is not a question any one person could answer on their own, and not something that the database can help with. That said, some of the records gathered while working on the database do provide some guidance. Taking that guidance, I have asked a few friends and got some kind of agreement....

Here's my current "best-guess" list of offenders but it may not cover every country. I have not tried to list them in order of the frequency of their causing civilian injury. All those of you with demining field-time, if your experience is that the list is wrong or misses anything out, please say so. The more input you make, the more likely that the result will get close to the truth.

1) Fuze systems of all kinds that include detonators - especially mortar fuzes.

2) Grenades of all types (including many that are still "pinned"). Most found have been from the former USSR. Some have no time delay. Technically those still "pinned" are not UXO, but are still ERW.

3) M42 and M77 DPICM submunitions (USA).

4) BLU-97 submunition (USA) Multi-directional secondary fuze system that can remain operational and act as an anti-handling device. Extremely high failure rates have been reported.

5) BL-755 (UK) used by 17 countries, 8 NATO and 9 others: considered very unpredictable when unexploded.

6) The Yugoslav KB-1 DPICM submunition.

7) M118 Rockeye (USA) an extremely high failure rate is reported.

8) PG-7M (Russian) despite the fact it is supposed to have a self destruct, it is frequently found in an unstable condition - presumably because it has a piezoelectric fuse.

9) 40mm rifle grenades, various origins. These may also have a self-destruct delay - which can fail to complete, so leaving the item very sensitive.

10) 60 - 120mm mortars, HE and WP, various origins - usually initiated by deliberate contact (taking apart).

11) Anti-armour hand grenades (often based on the Russian RKG-3 series).

12) HE rockets damaged on impact. (In all cases, risk may be increased if the munition is damaged.)

When the list has been refined, two other questions will arise:

a) What percentage of each type of munition can be later initiated accidentally? (For example, for every 100 of a type, some may be "dud" and some may be very sensitive to movement. The specific fuze system may become the critical identifier when assessing the risk of accidental initiation.

b) What proportion of civilian accidents occur as a result of a deliberate interaction with the device? In these cases, the fuze system may be relatively unimportant.




To see ALL RECORDS by number... click here...

To read about the DDIV, click here.