Old shells still claim lives in Vietnam

Vietnamese scrap collectors often saw unexploded ordnance for metal and explosive, while children play ammunitions by breaking them, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries annually

During the 1965-1975 Vietnam War, the U.S. Armed Forces dropped more than 15 million tons of bombs, mines, artillery shells and other ordnance in Vietnam, in which 10 percent did not detonate as designed, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund of the United States.

CLEANING up the debris from the Vietnam War is a dangerous task. But another danger lurks for those looking to recycle or re-sell metal from shells and bombs.

Last month a big artillery shell exploded in Vietnam’s central Khanh Hoa province, killing two adults and four children.

An unexploded 105-mm artillery shell went off in Khanh Son district, killing a 35-year-old man, his two sons aged 3 and 9, his 60-year-old father-in-law, and a sibling of a 3-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

The explosion also injured a 55-year-old man, father of the little boy and girl, the authorities said, noting that all the dead and the injured are from poor families of Raglay ethnic minority.

The explosion happened when two local men were sawing the artillery shell to get its explosive and metal.

During the 1965-1975 Vietnam War, the U.S. Armed Forces dropped more than 15 million tons of bombs, mines, artillery shells and other ordnance in Vietnam, in which 10 percent did not detonate as designed, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund of the United States.

Vietnamese scrap collectors often saw unexploded ordnance for metal and explosive, while children play ammunitions by breaking them, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries annually

War Life