Home > Mine Action ALERT > Mine Action Alert: A Farmer Died Because Mortar Round Exploded When He Repaired Kitchen Corner – the First Casualty in Quang Tri after Four Years

An accident caused by explosive remnants of war around 13:30, Wednesday,  February 16, 2022, killed a man who resided in Phuong An 1 Village of Cam Nghia Commune, Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province. The neighbors rushed to the victim’s home after hearing the explosion found Mr. Le Chi Truong dead on the spot at the corner of his kitchen.

Phuong An village cadres and the neighbors gather at the victim’s house to prepare for his funeral. Photo: QTMAC

Upon receiving the information, Quang Tri Mine Action Center (QTMAC) sent a team to Phuong An 1 Village for investigating the accident scene. Having identified the remaining shrapnel after the blast, QTMAC staff members concluded that the explosive ordnance that exploded was an 81mm mortar round – the first accident in Quang Tri after more than four years.

Mr. Le Van Phuoc, the uncle of the victim, confirmed that his nephew was repairing the corner of his kitchen, digging a drainage ditch when he hit the explosive ordnance. The wife and an 11-year-old daughter, a fifth-grader of the victim, were not at home at the time the tragic accident occurred.

81mm mortar round shrapnel found remaining after it went off. Photo: QTMAC

Born in 1979, Mr. Truong was the family breadwinner. Having no farming land, he made a living by working for other villagers. The couple’s income was modest, about 230 dollars per month. His family was just taken out of the list of poor households several months ago.

Cam Nghia Commune since 1975 has sustained 93 accidents related to post-war unexploded ordnance. The most recent accident was in 2014. 

The information of the Phuong An accident was shared by Mr. Hoang Nam, Deputy Chairman of Quang Tri Province People’s Committee, Head of the Province Mine Action Steering Board when he spoke at the Conference on the review of Vietnam national mine action program period 2010-2020 that took place in Hanoi in the morning of February 18, 2022. The conference was attended by the Prime Minister, National Defense Minister, leaders of central agencies and provincial governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

The unexploded ordnance accident in Cam Nghia Commune on Wednesday ended the record of ZERO casualties due to unexploded ordnance that had been sustained for more than four years in Quang Tri Province. This is a grim reminder of the lingering threat of unexploded ordnance that remains and the ongoing efforts to deal with the legacies of war must continue.

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Project RENEW  Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War Building D, Service Center for Foreign Affairs, 11 Nguyen Co Thach Street.  Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam 0233 3858 445 tel / projectrenewvietnam@gmail.com / www.landmines.org.vn
Ngo Xuan Hien, Communications & Development Manager, 0915 352 565 mobile
Email: ngoxuanhien@gmail.com

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