Dong Ha, Quang Tri (2 May 2015):
Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team responded to another call from residents and on Monday safely removed two artillery shells from the foundation of a new house under construction. The call came in to Project RENEW’s hotline telephone at around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Thai Quoc Viet, a resident of Dong Ha City, did not expect to encounter such wartime ordnance as he was digging the foundation for his new house in Dong Le Ward. But about 5:00 p.m. Sunday his workers were shocked to find two pieces of ordnance unearthed by the excavator. Frightened and realizing the imminent danger, they stopped immediately and Mr. Viet urgently called in the discovery to Project RENEW’s hotline, requesting immediate help.
His UXO call-in was received by the RENEW staff who instructed Viet to halt all construction and movement at the site, to remain calm, and keep everyone away from the area. RENEW staff assured Mr. Viet that the EOD team would respond first thing Monday morning since it was too late to take action that day as darkness was already falling.
Early Monday morning, Project RENEW dispatched an EOD Team to Mr. Viet’s residence. At the construction site, EOD team members safely removed two projectiles from where the foundation was being built, and transported them to RENEW’s Central Demolition Site for later destruction.
“One of the shells was scooped up by the excavator,” said Team Leader Mai Van Viet. “Its operator was too scared to continue working, so when we arrived, the shell was still in the bucket.”
According to Team Leader Viet, the two munitions were identified as 105mm high-explosive projectiles. Team members knew that these items were safe to move with expert handling.
A grateful Thai Quoc Viet thanked the team for their timely intervention. “The quick response by Project RENEW’s team has brought great relief to my family and my neighbors,” said Mr. Viet.
In the first four months of 2015, Project RENEW’s teams received 207 UXO call-ins from local people and safely destroyed 491 items of UXO.