ZAGREB, August 30, 2018 – A wreath-laying ceremony was held outside the firefighting station in the coastal city of Šibenik to mark the start of events commemorating 12 volunteer firefighters from Šibenik, Vodice and Tisno who were killed while trying to put out a wildfire on Kornat island on 30 August 2007.
Later in the day, some 300 firefighters from around the country are expected to gather for a commemoration at the site of the tragedy on Kornat, where 12 stone crosses were erected in memory of the deceased firefighters.
The firefighters lost their lives in a routine operation to put out a wildfire that erupted on that island.
Six were killed on the scene and six later from burns in hospital.
Frane Lučić was the only survivor.
Despite investigations and trials, the circumstances of the tragedy have not been clarified. The victims’ families and part of the public do not believe the official theory that the tragedy was caused by eruptive fire behaviour, maintaining that the full truth about the circumstances has not been revealed.
Former Šibenik-Knin County fire commander Dražen Slavica, who was the only one to stand trial for the tragedy, was acquitted in the first trial in 2013. The Supreme Court quashed the verdict and ordered a retrial but Slavica was again acquitted in late April this year.
The Šibenik County Prosecutor’s Office has appealed against that verdict and proposed that the Supreme Court quash it and order a new retrial.