2 killed in southern Vietnam as war-era shell explodes in house

TN News

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A pregnant woman was among two people killed when a Vietnam War-era 155-milimeter artillery shell exploded in a house in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Wednesday.

The tragedy occurred at around 8:30 p.m. in the house of Tran Khac Nguyen, 37, of Tan Lam Commune, Xuyen Moc District.

Nguyen said he had just returned home from work when he heard an explosion from the bathroom near the veranda of his house.

The bathroom and a part of the kitchen collapsed, Nguyen's three-year-old daughter, who was in the bathroom, was slammed into a wall, and two pieces of shrapnel hit him on his head and injured him.

Nguyen Van Quynh, Nguyen's 27-year-old cousin, was thrown some 15 meters into a neighbor's fence, with his body torn to pieces.

Neighbors rushed to the house and saw Hoang Thi Bay, Nguyen's 35-year-old wife, lying dead in a pool of blood near the bathroom.

She had been seven months pregnant.

The neighbors said they felt their houses shake from the explosion though some are almost 100 meters away.

The police said Quynh had inadvertently set off a power-saw that cut into the shell, causing the explosion.

They had found shell fragments, an electric wire, and pieces of a saw that masons use to cut bricks.

In Vietnam, war-era bombs go off frequently as people try to cut mortar shells for scrap metal.

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