War-era bunker full of unexploded ordnances found in central Vietnam

By Nguyen Phuc, Thanh Nien News

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Unexploded ordnance found in a war-era bunker in Quang Tri Province on Sunday. Photo: Nguyen Phuc

Construction workers on Sunday detected a bunker containing a huge amount of war-era unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the north-central province of Quang Tri.
Workers of the Truong Son Construction Corporation under the Ministry of Defense were digging up the soil to clear the site for construction of the Lao Bao International Border Gate in the eponymous town when they detected the bunker.
Inside the bunker they found dozens of artillery shells, mortar shells, hundreds of cluster bombs and other ordnance.
Major Vo Cong Nam, chief supervisor at the construction site, said all the UXOs were produced and left by the US army during the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.
Local authorities are widening the search for UXOs in the area and its neighborhood.
Vietnam’s official figures have listed 6.6 million hectares (16.3 million acres) of land in the country as contaminated with UXO left over from the Vietnam War.
UXOs, including bombs, shells and landmines, killed 42,135 people and injured 62,163 others between 1975 and 2000, with children accounting for 30 percent of the victims, according to surveys by the social affairs ministry by 2002.
Only 20 percent of them had been defused by then and the rest have been in for more kills, especially in the hardest-hit central region.

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