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4 children die in US old mortar shell

4 children die in US old mortar shell

Monday, December 03, 2012, 12:58 GMT+7

Four children died and four other people were injured in an explosion caused by an old mortar shell near a house in southern Vinh Long City on Sunday, local police reported. The dead children included three boys aged 6 to 11, and a 4-year-old girl, all from Hieu Nghia commune, Vung Liem District. The deadly incident occurred at noon of December 2 when a terrible noise exploded from the 82 mm shell that was concealed in a bamboo stand on the side of a rural road near the house of a local man, Nguyen Van Lat, 49, in Vung Liem. Lat was hosting a party for guests who had come to attend the death anniversary of one of Lat’s relatives. District police determined that the shell had been there since the time of the Vietnam War. The explosion killed two children instantly and seriously injured two other children and two men. The injured were taken to a local hospital, but the two injured children died on the way due to their critical condition. The two injured men, both 42, are being treated at Vinh Long General Hospital and Can Tho Central General Hospital. Huynh Thanh Nhan, chairman of the Hieu Nghia commune People’s committee, said the shell was discovered by Lat five years ago when he was dredging a canal near his house. Instead of reporting the shell to local authorities for handling, Lat placed the dangerous item in a bamboo bush and it remained there until it exploded, Nhan said. Local police are investigating the case to determine the cause of the explosion, Nhan added. As previously reported, the US Army discharged more than 15 million tons of bombs, landmines and other explosive materials on Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and around 800,000 tons of unexploded ordnance (UXO) was left behind after the war ended in 1975. Between 1975 and 2000, UXO killed more than 40,000 people and injured 60,000 more in Vietnam.

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