Among the many hazards of operating heavy equipment, absorbing the impact of a land mine explosion is not one of them for the majority of operators out there. But for this particular operator, it’s simply part of the job.
According to the description accompanying the below video from LiveLeak, this armored excavator is working at the border between Chile and Peru as a demining vehicle. A few seconds in, a mine detonates absolutely rocking the excavator. Thanks to the heavy armoring, the operator isn’t hurt but is clearly shaken from the impact.
This type of work is necessary in Chile which, according to a 2014 article from Motherboard detailing the problem, is a country “littered” with land mines. The mines were planted in the 1980s under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet who, according to the article, “was in the midst of border disputes with all three of its neighbors—Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.”
Pinochet considered ground invasion “imminent,” the article continues, and more than 180,000 mines were planted along Chile’s borders as a result. Nothing ever came of Pinochet’s prediction of invasion and in 1990 he stepped down from power. Since 2001, with Chile’s ratification of the Ottawa Treaty, the country has been working to dig up the thousands upon thousands of mines, which over the years have killed at least 29 people and injured nearly 150 more, according to the Motherboard report.