Four Fire Service officers were suspended on Wednesday as part of ongoing investigations over the deadly blast, on July 11, at a naval base which killed 13 persons and injured dozens.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told CNA Katsounotos said that “as part of ongoing investigations over the blast at the naval base Evaggelos Florakis at Mari on July 11th 2011, evidence has transpired relating to four members of the Fire Service which may possibly constitute criminal and or disciplinary offences”.

Chief of Police Michalis Papageorgiou, with the approval of Minister of Justice and Public Order Loukas Louka, has appointed an internal investigator to look into the possibility of disciplinary offences having been committed, in addition to the ongoing criminal investigations, he noted.

Katsounotos said that after consulting with the Chief of Police Louca suspended four Fire Service officers, the Fire Chief officer, the Deputy Chief officer, the Commander of the Fire Service’s Special Unit dealing with catastrophes (EMAK) and the EMAK assistant station master, as of today.

Massive explosions occurred at the naval base, in Zygi, near Limassol, on the southern coast, in the early hours of July 11th.

Thirteen people were killed, namely six firemen, five National Guard members and two sailors, by the huge blast which rocked nearby communities and caused extensive damage. Nearby Mari village suffered most of the damage.

The blast occurred in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from “Monchegorsk“, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Nicosia was acting in accordance with UN sanctions against Teheran.

A one-man investigation commission, set up by the government, has already started work into the circumstances that have led to the massive explosion, which destroyed the island’s main electricity power plan, resulting in daily cuts. Following the blast, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence and the chief of the National Guard have stepped down.

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