On the 11 July 2011, a quantity of mixed munitions and explosives stored unsafely at the Mari Naval Base in Cyprus exploded. A total of 13 people (seven naval personnel and six civilian fire-fighters) were killed. The Vassilikos power station, operated as the island’s main power station by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) and which is adjacent to the Mari site, was virtually destroyed thereby knocking out 60 per cent of the country’s electricity supply. Fortunately, the heavy fuel oil tanks on the EAC site did not ignite or explode as, by luck, they were shielded by the power station building which took the brunt of the blast from Mari. Sixty-eight people were recorded as receiving injuries and there was significant property damage to homes and businesses over a radius of several kilometres. The loss of such a large proportion of the islands’ electricity supply, followed by many months of intermittent supply from other power stations, had a dramatic impact on business activity, employment and the functioning of the public sector, to the extent that it accelerated the economy’s fall into recession. The disaster presents a sobering case of the mismanagement of man-made major hazards which was accentuated by incompetence, political intrigue, evasion of responsibility and a culture of perceived self-interest taking precedence over the objective requirements of public protection when it came to decision-making and action prior to the explosion.