UXO Kills Three, Injures Two During Clearance Operation in Southern Laos

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Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme
UXO destroyed in routine operation (Photo: Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme)

Three Lao UXO clearance workers have been killed and two injured by an explosion in Champasack Province.

The incident occurred on Friday morning, in KM 38 Village, Paksong District of Champasack Province, according to a local report.

Eyewitnesses say that the victims were UXO clearance employees undertaking clearance operations at a coffee plantation in Paksong District

A 50-year-old man, a 35-year-old man, and a 42-year-old man, all residents of Paksong were found dead at the scene.

Another two men were injured in the explosion and were taken to hospital for treatment.

No information has yet been provided on the type of explosive that caused the blast, as authorities continue their investigation.

According to reports from the authorities in Laos, the United States dropped some two million tons of explosives on Laos between 1965 and 1973 during the Indochina War, including 270 million cluster bombs designed to break up and release a payload of smaller bombs.

UXOs are a barrier to economic and social development, contaminating land which could otherwise be used for agriculture, industry, tourism, and infrastructure.

The total area of land contaminated by UXO is unknown, although some estimates place it at nearly 87,000 square kilometers.