Attapeu UXO Clearance Team Detonates 500 Pound Bomb

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Unexploded bomb in Attapeu.
Unexploded bomb in Attapeu.

The UXO Clearance Agency in Attapeu Province has located and detonated an unexploded 500-pound bomb that had lasted since the Indochina war.

The Mk82 bomb, weighing in at 500 pounds, was found in Namxuan Village, Phouvong District.

Deputy Project Coordinator of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Attapeu, Mr. Xaysetha Phosalath, said on Friday, that an operation to detonate the bomb was carried out after reports of its discovery were received from village authorities.

“The team helped to evacuate local people from the area before surveying the site of the explosive,” said Mr. Xaysetha.

The team poses after piling sandbags around the 500-pound bomb.
The UXO clearance team poses after piling sandbags around the 500-pound bomb.

“The technical experts who carried out the site survey also had to assess potential damage to infrastructure such as electrical and telephone cables,” he added.

He said that three teams, making up 27 people in total, worked to place over 9,000 sandbags around the bomb at a depth of two meters.

The bomb was then successfully detonated after all persons involved had reached a safe distance in accordance with strict protocol.

MAG Community Liaison Team in Khammouane Province moves a UXO.
MAG Community Liaison Team in Khammouane Province moves a UXO.

In a similar case, a 750-pound bomb was discovered in a pond some 20 meters from a home in Saenphan Village, Boualapha District, Khammouane Province earlier this week.

It was made safe and transported to a detonation site and destroyed by a Mines Advisory Group team.

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 across Laos is unknown, although some estimates place it at nearly 87,000 square kilometers.