At least two of eight fifth-grade students injured by a bomb that exploded in the central Highlands province of Dak Nong on Tuesday have died, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported on the same day.
The explosion happened at 1:30 p.m. at the Nui Lua firing range in Dak Mil District's Thuan An Commune, injuring Nguyen Van Duong, Tran Hoai Giang, Nguyen Dak Hoa, Nguyen Vo Minh Kha, Nguyen Thanh Ly, Pham Quy, Pham Tien and Chau Ngoc Trung all students of Nguyen Van Troi Elementary School in Thuan An.
They were all brought to a Dak Mil General Hospital, but Trung died soon after arriving.
At 5 p.m., Giang died after having been transferred to Dak Lak General Hospital in the neighboring province of Dak Lak, where the other six injured children are currently receiving treatment.
Tran Van Toan, a Thuan An resident, who was working in a field near the site of the explosion, told Tuoi Tre the students were on the way school when they saw a bomb. They had gathered to look at it when it exploded.
Local authorities and residents said they have yet to determine the bomb's origin.
Since the Vietnam War ended in 1975 scrap-metal collecting has accounted for more than a third of the 104,000 deaths and injuries caused by unexploded ordnance (UXOs) in Vietnam.
Around 6.6 million hectares of land, or more than a fifth of the country's area, were affected by UXOs left behind from the Vietnam War, according to official figures.
But only 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) have been cleared so far.
Experts estimate it will take hundreds of years and billions of dollars to clear Vietnam of leftover bombs, shells, and mines.
Vietnam launched a UXO action program in 2010 to clear around 1.3 million hectares by 2025. It is set to cost $595 million in just the next five years
At a seminar on UXO decontamination held on December 4, 2011, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said: "Accidents and casualties have continued to take a toll, particularly on children, every day and every hour on a nationwide scale."
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