1.3 ton bomb unearthed in northern Vietnam

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A 1.3-ton bomb found at the construction site of an industrial zone in the northern province of Hung Yen

A Ministry of Defense construction company has deactivated and destroyed a 3,000-lb (1.3-ton) bomb dug up during work on an industrial zone in the northern province of Hung Yen, Dan Tri reported Monday.

Colonel Tran Van Dong, deputy director general of Lung Lo Construction Corporation, was quoted as saying that they found the bomb some two meters underground on October 26.

With the blast radius of 500 meters, the bomb is of a variety that US air force used to destroy bridges and factories during the Vietnam War, Dong said.

It was the largest bomb that the company has ever found at the site, where the firm is in the process of clearing of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in a preparation for the construction of Thang Long 2 Industrial Zone, according to the official.

So far the company has cleared 20 hectares out of 127 hectares allocated for the industrial zone, the news website reported.

At a conference earlier this year, it was reported that the US Army discharged more than 15 million tons of bombs, landmines and other explosive materials on Vietnam, and around 800,000 tons of UXO were left behind after the Vietnam War ended in 1975.

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UXO has contaminated more than one fifth of the country's total area and have so far killed and injured tens of thousands of people, many of them children. Between 1975 and 2000, UXO killed more than 40,000 people and injured 60,000 others in Vietnam, according to government statistics.

Vietnam spends an estimated US$100 million on UXO decontamination each year, and is looking to speed up work to eliminate the threat of UXO within the next 100 years, according to the conference. 

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