Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS)

Unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) are a global problem.

The Small Arms Survey defines UEMS as the accidental explosion of abandoned, damaged, improperly stored, or properly stored stockpiles of ammunition and explosives at munitions sites (a detailed definition and classification of UEMS is available here). A single UEMS incident often results in dozens of casualties and millions of dollars' worth of damage to nearby buildings, infrastructure, and homes.

Research conducted by the Survey reveals that these incidents are widespread and increasingly common: in its database, the Survey has recorded more than 623 incidents in at least 106 countries and territories between 1979 and December 2019.

The Small Arms Survey continues to maintain its UEMS database on an ongoing basis. To receive the full database of UEMS incidents in Excel format, please contact: media@smallarmssurvey.org.

For a quick overview of the data, navigate our interactive visualization tool below, which comprises two interactive maps, two additional representations of the data, and an interactive data explorer that allows you to create custom visualizations (click on the arrows to switch between the five visualizations).

For more on UEMS, check out our most recent related outputs below and visit our Resource Library.


Interactive Visualization Tool