Timely intervention made as scrap collectors about to cut 230kg bomb in central Vietnam

The MK82 bomb, measuring 1.5 meters long and weigh some 227kg, still has the detonator safety pins intact

Project Renew team members carry the bomb away in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam, on April 14, 2017.

A group of scrap collectors were stopped just in time as they were attempting to cut open a large bomb in the north-central province of Quang Tri on Friday.

>> A decade on, Vietnam’s ‘bomb market’ finally begins to fear death

In Vietnam, many would risk their lives to dismantle unexploded bombs and warheads to get scrap metal and gunpowder, which would give them hefty income.

On Friday, a group of scrap collectors in Trieu Thach Commune, Trieu Phong District have found an enormous bomb and were about to cut it open when Nguyen Van Thanh, a member of the local military command, caught them in the middle of the reckless act.

Upon noticing that a uniformed man was coming, the scrap dealers = fled the scene, leaving the bomb behind.

Thanh, who is also an observer with Project Renew, an unexploded ordnance removal initiative in Quang Tri, immediately reported the project’s mobile team of the emergency.

Project Renew team members later managed to safely remove the explosive.

The MK82 bomb, measuring 1.5 meters long and weighs some 227kg, still has the detonator safety pins intact and could have exploded at any time.

Project Renew is committed to “making Quang Tri safe” by reducing the risks of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war to a level where local people can live ​without fear, and so that development is not impeded, according to its website.

The 227kg bomb might be dropped some forty years ago during the American war in Vietnam, according to Project Renew.

Fifty thousand Vietnamese civilians have lost their lives and more than 60,000 others injured in accidents related to unexploded ordnance across the country since the war in 1975, Deputy Minister of Defense Col. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh said at the conference in October 26.

According to statistics, unexploded ordnance is still found in all 63 provinces and municipalities in Vietnam, with the most heavily affected localities being Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Thua Thien – Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Ca Mau, Soc Trang, and Dong Thap.

Approximately 6.1 million hectares of mainland Vietnam are still contaminated with the explosive remnants, which are estimated to cost multimillion U.S. dollars to be completely eliminated.

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