Trieu Phong, Quang Tri (August 1, 2013) – It was a narrow escape for villagers of Dai Hao yesterday when a piece of postwar ordnance suddenly exploded at noon in the middle of a rice field. Farmers who had been working there minutes before had gone home for lunch.
The accident in Trieu Dai Commune occurred at 12:35 in the rice field owned by Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tam’s family, about 200 meters from residential housing and 100 meters from a traveled road.
A phone call from the chief of Dai Hao Village alerted Project RENEW’s Community Support Team (CST) that assistance was needed. The CST immediately coordinated with RENEW’s EOD Team, who were already operating in Trieu Phong District. Within an hour the two teams arrived at the scene to investigate the accident and calm the villagers.
The explosion created a crater four meters wide and one meter deep in the middle of the rice field. Fortunately for the farmers who had been clearing weeds and spreading fertilizer, no one was hurt because they had gone home for lunch.
RENEW’s EOD team members searched the crater, but because of water in the hole no fragments were recovered. It was assumed that a naval projectile had exploded, the same type of weapon which have caused about 10 similar explosions in Trieu Phong District, according to RENEW’s records and reports of local authorities.
The most recent incident occurred in April when a naval projectile exploded and destroyed part of a house in Trieu Trach Commune. An explosion in 2006 totally destroyed a house in Trieu Dong Commune. Last May, RENEW’s EOD team safely removed an 8-inch naval projectile from a rice field in Trieu Hoa Commune.
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