Mijas man fights on after losing part of his hand when a bomb exploded in the rubbish

Antonio points at damage caused by the explosion.
Antonio points at damage caused by the explosion. / SUR
  • The explosive device had allegedly been left in a container by cash machine robbers who were trying to get rid of evidence before police arrested them

The medical report is devastating: "Catastrophic hand and major physical consequences."

Antonio Manuel Serrato will never forget the date on 18 May in 2017. He was searching for scrap metal in a container on a Mijas industrial estate when he came across an explosive device that had allegedly been abandoned by a gang of bank robbers who were trying to get rid of the evidence before their imminent arrest by the police.

The device was designed to blow up cash machines at banks without damaging the money.

"It exploded; then there is a moment when I don't remember anything and the next image I have in my head is that of two of my fingers lying on the ground."

"Now I am disabled, I have a recognised disability of 50 per cent," he says, resigned to the outcome.

Before the explosion, Antonio was a bus driver and an aircraft refuelling technician. "I can't do either of those two jobs anymore," he says.

In addition to losing two fingers on his left hand, shrapnel cut through his leg a few inches from the kneecap and the explosion burned his face. "It was a good thing I was wearing sunglasses, but I still lost my eyebrows and eyelashes."

He spent seven hours on the operating table, where surgeons had to rebuild almost all his tendons, nerves and his thumb. Now his left arm is shorter than his right and is almost useless.

But beyond the physical injuries, the bomb has left him with serious psychological problems, as well as completely changing his life. His mother suffered a stroke as a result of the stress caused by the situation.

Antonio expains how children stare at him, and that "hurts". He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder according to the experts who have treated him, as he "relives the accident over and over again" in his head.


He has decided to tell his story as a result of the latest news that several of the bank robbers were convicted of crimes by the courts after they were arrested during the National Police’s Operation Thunder.

Mijas man fights on after losing part of his hand when a bomb exploded in the rubbish

Antonio spent seven hours on the operating table after the explosion


However, Antonio says that his compensation case has not been settled yet, "This happened in 2017 and we still do not have a date for the trial," he says. "I need to move forward, and someone has to pay for what happened."

For Antonio, the journey towards the recovery of his life will never begin until he can close the chapter.

At the time when the gang of robbers was broken up by the National Police it was reported they had connected them to raids on a bank on the La Azucarera industrial estate in Antequera, two in Malaga city and another in Estepona as well as one in Cordoba that triggered the investigation.