Underwater Clearance in Fallujah, Iraq



The Iron Bridge was built in 1930 and played an important role during the World War II. The bridge was destroyed in June 2016.

The reconstruction of the bridge by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) started in October 2017 and in February 2018, during diving preparations for the restoration of the bridge, suspect explosive devices were spotted under water and all work at this site was immediately halted.

Following this discovery, UNMAS employed a specialized ‘Underwater Clearance’ company to assess the situation. The divers started working on 9 April and recovered two improvised explosives devices (IEDs) main charges from under water. This is a very complex operation and a physically challenging task due to the lack of visibility and the strong current of the Euphrates River with currents, sometimes; up to 4 m/s.

Since completion of the task on 15 April, the reconstruction has re-started. This bridge will not only reconnect the busy markets zone to the other side of the river, but will ease traffic pressure on other bridges.