Gerdec site visited by the U.S. Department of State representative
On 15 March 2008, an explosion occurred at an ammunition process facility in Gerdec close to Tirana, Albania. As a result of an explosion, up to 9.000 tons of UXO littered the village and hundreds of locals were injured and 26 confirmed dead. Roughly 200 houses were completely destroyed and approximately 1.500 damaged to some degree. Recognizing the tremendously damaging consequences of the explosion the ‘’Gerdec UXO Removal and Demilitarization’’ project commenced almost immediately after the incident. The project is funded by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State and implemented through ITF by Sterling International Group, LLC.
Since the beginning of the project almost 105.000 projectiles/shells weighting approximately 2.300 tons were collected for removal from Gerdec to Murrash for storage. Furthermore, 162.431 sq. m. were deep searched and 18.962 munitions were found by the deep-search teams.
On 19 September 2011, a field visit to the Gerdec explosion site was organized for the donor representative Mr John E. Stevens, Foreign Affairs Officer at PM/WRA. Mr Stevens was accompanied by Mr Landry Carr, Political-Military Officer, Embassy of the United States of America, Tirana/Albania, Ms Sabina Beber Boštjan?i?, ITF Head of the Department of International Relations and Mr Shane M. Franklin, Director of European Operations, Sterling International Group, LLC.