Six siblings were seriously injured when an artillery shell exploded in the south-central province of Quang Ngai last week, newswire Dan Tri reported.
Bui Van Vy, chairman of Pho Nhon Commune People’s Committee, said the accident happened on April 9.
Four brothers and two sisters of the Pham family – Pham Van Sinh, Pham Van Hoang, Pham Van Tri, Pham Van Dang, Pham Thi Trinh, and Pham Thi Tre – are still being treated at Quang Ngai General Hospital.
Sinh and Hoang's conditions have reportedly improved.
On April 9 the six entered a hut in a rural village in Pho Nhon to rest after doing farmwork.
Tri then went out to find vegetables to cook for lunch.
The boy reportedly stumbled across an artillery shell measuring roughly 30 centimeters, picked it up and returned to the hut.
While showing the shell to his siblings, it exploded.
Nearby residents said they heard a huge explosion and saw smoke and dust rising from the hut.
They rushed to the site and brought the injured victims to a nearby hospital.
Quang Ngai is among the provinces with the highest concentrations of unexploded ordnance (UXO), along with Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, and Quang Nam.
The US military dumped more than 15 million tons of ordnance on Vietnam during the war some 50 years ago.
Since the war ended in 1975, UXO has killed more than 42,000 people and injured another 62,000, putting the annual death rate at over 1,500 and the injured at nearly 2,300. Many of the victims were children.
A recent national survey of 49 provinces and cities showed that 7.1 million hectares of land are contaminated with UXO.
It is estimated that Vietnam needs some 300 years to clear its land of UXO.
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