The Vietnam War ended nearly five decades ago, but huge unexploded bombs continue to be found in Vietnam's central region. Just this week, MAG successfully removed three huge unexploded bombs reported by residents in Quang Binh province.
Task #1 – Van Trach commune, Bo Trach district
As Ms. Hoang Thi Lan's family dug a biogas capture pit in their garden, they discovered a strange object, suspected to be a bomb tail. The family was shocked to discover such a huge bomb in their backyard.
"We were digging when the excavator touched a sharp object. Assuming it was a bomb, we stopped digging, preserved the scene, and informed local authorities to check it. I cannot imagine the potential danger this object poses to my family and neighbors," Lan said.
After receiving a request from the Provincial Military Command, MAG deployed a Roving Team to Lan's house last Monday morning. The bomb was identified as a M117-750lb bomb. It was excavated, made safe and moved to a controlled demolition site for secure destruction later this year.
Task #2 – Trong Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district
On 27 November, a local resident discovered a bomb while fishing in a stream in Trong Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district.
The bomb was found in a shallow hole near a stream behind Trong Hoa Commune Ranger Station, less than 100 meters from houses and 150 meters from a major road. The bomb was almost completely exposed when it was first discovered, with only a third of it buried underground.
In the morning of Tuesday, November 28, MAG's Roving Team arrived at Trong Hoa commune. MAG experts identified the bomb as a M117-750lb. After the bomb was deemed safe to move, it was manually carried 300m up steep, winding hillsides to a waiting vehicle for transportation to the controlled demolition site.
Task #3 – Dan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district
The third huge unexploded bomb was found by local residents searching for scrap metal in Dan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district. MAG successfully completed this task on 30 November.
The bomb was only partially exposed when discovered. MAG team excavated the bomb without machinery in rainy weather and on rocky ground. The bomb was removed from the ground completely within three hours.
MAG experts determined that it was a MK81-250Lb bomb with a blast radius of one kilometre. The bomb was found just 500 meters from a community house and primary school in Dan Hoa.
After careful investigation, MAG’s experts determined that the bomb was safe to move. Our team prepared materials to make a raft to move the bomb across the river. After securing the bomb to a raft, it was successfully floated across the river and driven to the demolition site.
All three dangerous bombs are now stored at the controlled demolition site for secure destruction this December.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Ha, MAG's Provincial Operations Manager in Quang Binh province said: "This week's tasks are all different in difficulty. In residential areas, we had to prepare options to minimize damage to people's property. The two remaining tasks, located far from Dong Hoi city, were difficult to access, and required a lot of time and human effort to complete. They were all challenging tasks, but we feel very happy because we eliminated the danger, ensuring the safety of people."
Since the beginning of 2023, MAG has responded to 781 bomb reports from local communities, including 211 in Quang Binh, and successfully removed 929 unexploded bombs (285 in Quang Binh), including nine large aircraft bombs.
MAG's emergency response team is implemented with funding and support from the U.S. Department of State and The Government of Japan.
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Learn more about MAG's work in Vietnam here.