Workers unearth 300 kilo war bomb with intact detonator

By Nguyen Vu   December 12, 2020 | 10:28 pm PT
Workers unearth 300 kilo war bomb with intact detonator
A bomb found at a construction site in Kien Giang Province on December 12, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Vu.
Workers using an excavator to dig a freshwater lake in the southern Kien Giang Province found a 300 kg bomb with its detonator intact Saturday.

All work was immediately stopped at the site in Phao Dai District in Ha Tien Town and the area cordoned off. The local administration has assigned militia and police to secure the area 24/7 until the bomb is dealt with.

The Ha Tien Military Command has coordinated with related units to examine the scene and find a way to handle the bomb. According to initial reports, the bomb is about 30 cm in diameter and 100 cm long. It had first been seen in this location 40 years ago, during the southwestern border war instigated by the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, general secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, Cambodia's former ruling party.

The Khmer Rouge had invaded Vietnam and killed tens of thousands of Vietnamese from 1975 to 1979. Upon request from Cambodian revolutionaries, Vietnamese soldiers marched into Phnom Penh in January 1979 in a counter-offensive on the southwestern border to free the capital from genocidal regime.

Discoveries of war-time bombs are not uncommon in Vietnam, which was heavily bombed for decades in its fight for independence.

On November 29, hundreds of people living around a street in downtown Hanoi were briefly evacuated at night after a 340-kg bomb was found at a construction site. People living within a 200 m radius from the bomb site were requested to move out for around two hours for the bomb to be removed. Soldiers and vehicles were dispatched to the site to remove the bomb.

In August, bomb disposal experts in the central province of Quang Tri removed a 900-kg bomb left over from the Vietnam War.

Landmines, bombs and other explosives dropped on Vietnam during the war continued to kill and maim people decades later. Efforts are still on to educate adults and children on safety precautions and to clear ordnance from heavily bombed areas.

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