Lang Vei, Quang Tri (17 August 2012)
An unexploded U.S. MK 82 bomb found in Lang Vei, a former U.S. Army Special Foreces camp, has been safely removed by a Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Quick Response Team for destruction later today.
The bomb was unearthed around 5 p.m. yesterday by some Bru minority men while they were searching for scrap metal in an area where an electricity transmission line is under construction. The excavation was halted immediately by the site manager of Mai Linh Power Joint Stock Company, the project investor, who reported this astonishing finding to Tan Lap Commune’s authorities. Later, the Huong Hoa military headquarters called Project RENEW for assistance.
RENEW’s EOD team arrived at the site about 8 am this morning and a technical assessment was performed. It was a 500-pound MK 82 lying unexploded at the depth of 3 meters. It took six hours for the team to remove the bomb after deciding it was safe to move. The bomb was transported to RENEW’s central demolition site in Trieu Phong District for later destruction.
According Lieutenant Ho Van Thanh from Huong Hoa District Military Headquarters, this area is still heavily impacted by explosive remnants of war (ERW), in particular aerially dropped bombs. During 1968, the Lang Vei and Khe San area was under heavy bombardment when it was under siege by the NVA forces. Many minority people, especially unemployed, young men still engage in scavenging war scraps for a living.
Through our clearance operations, RENEW is not only reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities caused by ERW, but also contributing to the socio-economic development of ERW impacted communities in Quang Tri Province. Over the past four years, RENEW teams have safely destroyed 16,000 cluster bombs, landmines, and other ERW from around people’s homes, gardens, schools and fields turning over 600,000 m2 of safe and tillable land to local authorities to be developed for community use.
Project RENEW is grateful to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian People’s Aid, U.S. Department of State for technical and financial support.