NICOSIA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus marked on Wednesday the anniversary of an explosion seven years ago that killed 13 people, wrecked a brand new power station and deepened and speeded up the 2013 economic crisis.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attended a memorial ceremony at the spot of the explosion at a navy base where seven sailors were killed, including the commander of the base and six firemen as they battled flames to a stack of containers full of explosives.
Over 60 other people were injured, including several left with life-long disabilities.
In a eulogy at the ceremony, Anastasiades paid tribute to the victims for sacrificing their life in the line of duty to save others.
"Once again I extent the apologies of the state for not doing what it should have done so as not to expose them to the lethal danger which they faced with unmatched valor," he said.
The early morning blast on July 11, 2011 vaporized 98 containers which had been stored closely together at the base.
The shock wave of the explosion wrecked a newly build power station 500 meters away and damaged four of its five generators.
Economic analysts said the impact of the loss of power generation and the additional cost to keep up with demand for electricity aggravated recession and speeded up a looming crisis that forced Cyprus into a 10-billion-euro bail-out in March 2013.
An ex-minister of defense was sentenced for five years in prison and died in hospital of heart attack two years ago.