Explosion fatalities in Sweden, 2000–2018

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Epidemiological aspects of explosion-related deaths in a civilian setting may bring comprehensive knowledge that is
important for prevention efforts. This Swedish national study aimed to describe the extent of such deaths, circumstances
and fatal injuries. Data, including all explosion-related deaths in Sweden from 2000 through 2018, were retrieved from the
register of the National Board of Forensic Medicine. Among all 87 cases found, accidental deaths accounted for 62%,
suicides for 21%, homicides for 7% and undetermined manner of death for the remaining 10% of cases. Most victims
died on site. Adult males dominated in the study material, but explosions also killed four children. Explosives were
most commonly involved in occupational blast deaths, suicides and homicides, followed by flammable gases and fluids.
The incidence showed a significant decrease since the 1980s, based on the incidence rate from this study and a previous
Swedish study (1979–1984). As already rare occurrences, blast-related deaths are challenging to prevent. Prevention
efforts are needed to restrict the availability of explosives and focus on lowering the occupational risk for injury. In addition, child deaths must not be
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine, Science and the Law
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Forensic Science


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