Home > News > Digging Up an Unexploded Cluster Bomb while Preparing House Foundation, Landowner Reports Shocking Discovery
The landowner Phan Van Ha talks with the EOD Team Leader Hoang Kim Chien about how his workers unexpectedly unearthed a deadly cluster bomb. Photo by Hien Ngo.

Gio Linh, Quang Tri (6 November 2019) – Phan Van Ha, a 42-year-old father of two in Cua Viet Townlet, now feels much relieved after an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team managed by Project RENEW and Norwegian People’s Aid has safely destroyed a dangerous unexploded cluster bomb found in his new house’s foundation.

The bomb was found yesterday by local workers when they were digging the foundation of Ha’s new house. Being afraid that children from a nearby school might encounter the dangerous ordnance, Ha immediately reported the shocking discovery to the local authorities and asked the workers to suspend their work. He also warned neighboring families not to wander around while waiting for a demining team to come.  

On Wednesday morning, NPA-RENEW’s EOD Team No. 2 arrived at Block 3 of Cua Viet Townlet. The team met with Ha who led them to the bomb location. Identifying the device as a BLU63 bomblet, Team Leader Hoang Kim Chien ordered his team members to destroy the device in situ.

Expressing his gratitude to the EOD team for their quick response, Ha said that he remembered an explosion of cluster bombs that occurred in the summer of 2000 had killed two children and badly injured another who lived in the same village.

EOD team member evacuates local schoolchildren having physical exercise class nearby to a safe distance before the team detonates the BLU 63. Photo by Hien Ngo.

“The finding of cluster munitions in this area serves as a starting point for RENEW-NPA to follow up with technical survey operations,” said Team Leader Hoang Kim Chien. “Contaminated areas will be defined, mapped out and cleaned up for the safety of local people.”

Team Leader Hoang Kim Chien shows shrapnel of the BLU 63 bomblet that remains from the detonation. Photo by Hien Ngo.

So far in 2019, four EOD teams of RENEW-NPA have conducted 565 EOD spot tasks in response to discoveries of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) reported by local people in Quang Tri Province. As a result, 884 ERW have been found and safely destroyed.

The Survey & Clearance Program of Project RENEW – Norwegian People’s Aid is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the UK Department for International Development.

Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the government of Quang Tri Province and interested INGOs to “restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war” – with the main focus on unexploded ordinance.

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is one of the leading organizations worldwide in humanitarian disarmament. NPA has worked in Vietnam since 2008 following the signing of an MOU with the government of Quang Tri People’s Committee to support the development of Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) capacity. NPA’s operational footprint now covers all of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue Provinces, with an increase of assets to four Battle Area Clearance teams, one Non-Technical Survey team, four EOD teams, and 25 Technical Survey teams.