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“Bomb Explosion On The Nis Express” – Lessons From A Major Incident, Kosovo 16 Feb 2001
  1. Lt Col D J Vassallo, FRCSEd RAMC, Consultant General Surgeon1,2,
  2. Capt P J K Graham, RAMC, Regimental Medical Officer3,
  3. Maj G Gupta, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon4 and
  4. Dr Dj Alempijevic, MD, Forensic Pathologist5
  1. 1Reynolds Hospital, Kosovo
  2. 233 Field Hospital Fort Blockhouse Gosport, Hants PO12 2AB DJVassallo{at}
  3. 32 Royal Tank Regiment, Kosovo
  4. 4Bondsteel Hospital, Kosovo (Associate Professor, UMKC School of Medicine, 2411 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108 USA)
  5. 5Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Forensic Medicine, 31a Deligradska St, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia


On Friday 16 February 2001, terrorists detonated a bomb under a civilian coach travelling from Nis in Serbia to Gracanica in Kosovo. 10 people were killed at the scene. 13 casualties were treated in the British KFOR hospital (Reynolds Hospital) in Pristina. Another 8 casualties were evacuated to the American KFOR hospital at Camp Bondsteel. The incident provided a unique opportunity for co-operation between British, American, Russian, German and French KFOR hospitals, as well as with Serbian clinicians and forensic pathologists. This article analyses the medical management of this major incident, identifies the lessons to be learned from it, and also provides enough detail for teaching scenarios.

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