Families alerted as large US bomb found

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The area has been staked out by deminers. Supplied

PREY VENG – ABOUT 100 families are to be evacuated from their village in Prey Veng province while authorities remove a big bomb dropped by the American air force during the Vietnam War.
The Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) and Prey Veng provincial authorities found the bomb, possibly a 500-pound MK82 or a 1,000-pound MK83, in Prey Veng town.
CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said: “We don’t know what kind of bomb it is. We will know after we dig it from the ground. We just know that this big bomb was dropped from a US aircraft.”
He said the families would be evacuated in case anything goes wrong. The danger area extends up to one kilometer.
“We have already discussed this with the authorities and tomorrow [Thursday], we will tell the citizens to go far away from the location.”
Deputy provincial police chief Dim Yarom said they also found many small bombs and grenades in Kampong Trabek and Preah Sdach districts this week.
Meanwhile, CMAC is also analyzing two chemical bombs that were found in Svay Rieng province before taking them away for destruction.
On January 24, CMAC found the bombs in Koki primary school and Koki Pagoda in Romeas Hek district’s Koki commune.
Chemicals in bombs cause suffocation and premature births.
Mr. Ratana said CMAC experts have not removed the bombs yet because they are studying the chemicals. However, he said they will be moved soon.
According to CMAC, these kinds of bomb have been found in many provinces such as Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri and Kratie.
According to data released in 2000, the US dropped two million – or 800,000 tons – of bombs and chemical bombs from 1963 to 1975 under the excuse of destroying Viet Cong invaders, but more than 500,000 Cambodians were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed.

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