227-kg Vietnam War bomb destroyed

By Hoang Tao   November 21, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
227-kg Vietnam War bomb destroyed
Combat engineers detonate a bomb found in a residential area in Quang Tri Province, November 19, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Ha
A total 100 families were evacuated as a bomb carrying 80 kilograms of explosives from the Vietnam War was destroyed in the central Quang Tri Province last weekend.

Weighing 227 kilograms, the Mark 82 bomb (MK82) was produced by the U.S. to use during the war (1955-1975).

It was found one meter underground in a residential area of Tan Thanh Commune in Huong Hoa District of Quang Tri. The discovery was made when a family was preparing soil for farming purposes.

As the bomb had a mechanical timer fuse, it was impossible to move around and as decided by the Quang Tri Military Command, had to be unearthed and destroyed right where it was found.

Lieutenant Colonel Ho Viet Hung, head of the command’s Combat Engineer Division, which oversees destroying the bomb, said the threat was high as the bomb had a blast radius of up to 1,500 meters.

The detonation of the bomb, carried out last Saturday, requested 100 families to be evacuated.

In a process controlled from afar, combat engineers separated the part with the detonator from the part that contains the explosive.

After being removed from the bomb, the part with the detonator was destroyed at the site while the part with the explosive was moved to the area where the Combat Engineer Division usually destroys bombs and explosives.

In the past two years, the division has detonated 201 bombs, including four classified as "extremely dangerous" that must be handled at the scene.

From 1954 to 1972, Ben Hai River in Quang Tri was a temporary demarcation line between the south and north of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Quang Tri, as a result, suffered the most bombings throughout the war, with 83% of its area contaminated by explosive remnants. Around 800,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance have been dealt with in the area thanks to the help of several non-governmental organizations.

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