Bomb disposal experts destroy 4-meter US missile found in Hanoi river

By Phuong Son   December 8, 2017 | 10:55 am GMT+7
Bomb disposal experts destroy 4-meter US missile found in Hanoi river
A 600-kilogram American missile is recovered from a river in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of An Ninh Thu Do

Officers think the missile was dropped in 1972, and its detonator was still intact.

A missile dropped by the U.S. during the Vietnam War has been disposed of after lying at the bottom of a river in Hanoi for more than 40 years.

Military officers said that they removed the air-to-surface missile from the Tich River in Thach That District on Wednesday afternoon and carried out a controlled explosion at a shooting range outside the city.

The device, weighing around 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds) and measuring 4.2 meters (13.3 feet) in length, was discovered by a local while he was trawling for clams in the river late last month, lying about seven meters underwater with its detonator intact.

“The U.S. missile was dropped on the area in 1972,” an officer said.

Multiple American air raids targeted Hanoi between 1965 and 1972, including the devastating Christmas bombings in 1972.

On November 28, soldiers and divers in Hanoi removed an unexploded bomb weighing 1.3 tons from the bed of the Red River, right under the iconic Long Bien Bridge.

Across Vietnam, unexploded ordnance still threatens a fifth of the country’s land mass decades after the Vietnam War ended. Explosions occur frequently, killing more than 1,500 people every year and maiming and injuring 2,200 more, according to official data.