How landmines work

Victims set off landmines by stepping on them, picking them up, or moving machinery over them. When they detonate, they cause serious injury or death. More than 360 models have been manufactured, in two main categories: blast mines and fragmentation mines. 

Blast mines

Triggered by direct pressure on the mine (2-15 lbs) they are designed to destroy an object at close proximity. They are primarily designed to amputate the victim's lower limbs.

Fragmentation mines

Triggered by pressure, traction or tripwires. They are designed to kill or injure individuals or groups of people. Most of these mines have a metal body which breaks into a shower of fragments when they explode. Others contain metal balls or fragments which turn into lethal projectiles in the explosion. There are three main categories of fragmentation mines: 

Fixed directional effect mines

The balls or metal shards contained in the mine are projected horizontally at an angle of 60º and at a height of more than 6.5 feet, causing serious or even fatal injuries over a distance of up to 164 feet.

Area effect bounding mines

When the mine is triggered a propelling charge lifts the mine approximately 5 feet above the ground, then the main charge ignites. The balls or metal shards within the mine are projected over a minimum radius of 82 feet at an angle of 360°, killing within a range of 115 feet or more, and causing serious injury at a distance of over 328 feet.

Fixed area effect stake mines

Metal fragments from the body of the mine are projected at an angle of 360°, killing within a radius of 13 feet and causing serious injuries well beyond this distance.