1,000 warheads removed from abandoned house in central Vietnam

By Hoang Tao   November 28, 2018 | 01:01 am PT
1,000 warheads removed from abandoned house in central Vietnam
1,000 warheads have been found at an abandoned house in Quang Tri Province. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Ha
Around 1,000 warheads were removed from an abandoned house in the central province of Quang Tri on Wednesday.

They have been moved to a safe place and will be destroyed later, officials said.

The warheads were found in Khe Sanh Town, Huong Hoa District.

Authorities surmise that locals who found and dug up the warheads left them in the abandoned house because they could not sell them to scrap vendors.

The Vietnam War ended more than 40 years ago, but around 800,000 tons of unexploded ordnance remain scattered across the country, according to official government data.

Mines and bombs still cover up to 6.1 million hectares (over 15 million acres) or 18.7 percent of the country’s land area.

The central region is the worst affected area, with 80 percent of some provinces contaminated by UXOs or unexploded ordnance. Quang Tri itself was hardest hit by bombings during the Vietnam War. It was a center for American military bases and a principle battleground during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

As of April, according to government data, a fifth of Vietnam’s land areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance, and explosions occur frequently. More than 1,500 people are killed every year, while another 2,200 are maimed.

Many are killed by inadvertently triggering the devices, while others die trying to cut open the bombs to resell the explosives and scrap metal.

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