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Cam Lo, Quang Tri ( August 25, 2010)

A 250-pound bomb was safely removed from the garden of a local man’s house in Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province this Wednesday morning by a Project RENEW team after a couple days of excavation work.

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Last Friday, when Tran Van Deo, who lives in Tan Hoa Village with his family of six, operated a tractor to plough land for growing rubber trees on his garden, a couple of scrap scavengers dug and saw the tail part of a big bomb pointing its head downward. It was just about 20 meters away from the man’s house.

Team is excavating the bomb spot (top) and the Mk81 is being removed for later destruction

Team is excavating the bomb spot (top) and the Mk81 is being removed for later destruction

Too frightened, one of the scrap scavengers, who is also Deo’s brother, called Project RENEW’s hotline phone number immediately to ask for assistance. A RENEW team was deployed to the scene and they found the item was a 250lb bomb which was dropped by the U.S. bombing aircraft during the wartime. The bomb was removed from a depth of 1.5 meters and transported to the team’s demolition site for later destruction after a render safe procedure was successfully applied.

“Our family has grown vegetables and kept our buffaloes right on this land without knowing that there is such a big bomb underneath,” said Deo. “We had been sleepless many nights since the bomb was found. Thank you for getting rid of this danger for our house and the entire village,” he said shaking hands with one of the team members.

This discovery of a big bomb in the area is another indication for the U.S’s heavy bombing of Vietnam during the war. Quang Tri Province was one the most heavily bombed areas because of its location on the both sides of the former DMZ.

Out of six central provinces, Quang Tri has the highest level of UXO contamination: about 83.8% of the land area remains contaminated, according to a recent report by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense’s Technology Center for Bomb and Mine Disposal (BOMICEN). This contamination has impeded the local efforts in restoring more land for development purposes.

Since June 2008, in a partnership with the Norwegian People’s Aid, Project RENEW has established and deployed two quick response teams in two districts of Cam Lo and Trieu Phong. To date, these teams have conducted 1,000 tasks in response to UXO sightings reported by the local population and destroyed over 3,300 items of UXO.

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