An MK82 aircraft bomb is destroyed by CMAC.
he Phnom Penh-based CMAC EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) team has destroyed another
unexploded MK82 aircraft bomb, the legacy of American B-52 bombing of Cambodia during
The latest controlled explosion took place on Friday 27 July in a bamboo forest in
Sre Ambel district, one kilometer from Highway 4, where the bomb had been found by
local people. Difficult terrain made moving the bomb to CMAC's demolition field in
Kampong Speu Province impossible, so the decision was taken to detonate it where
it had fallen.
CMAC EOD teams throughout the country are assisted by three technical advisors from
the Belgian Army which has sent personnel to Cambodia for six month rotations since
early 1994. The scope of the UXO (unexploded ordinance) problem in Cambodia is familiar
to that of Belgium - each year EOD teams there get around 3,500 calls to handle UXO
from the two world wars.
Technical advisor Marc Devroedt, 39, said: "We have worked for 85 years [in
Belgium] and the figures stay the same: they don't go down."
He said UXOs, unlike minefields which can be cleared in around 20 to 30 years, would
be found in Cambodia 100 years from now.
Luc Bodart, 42, the senior technical advisor, said that although the bombs typically
buried themselves up to four meters under the ground, they slowly worked their way
to the surface over time.
Bombs failed to explode for several reasons: muddy ground could prevent the fuse
from triggering; excess payload was sometimes dumped from low altitude by B-52s,
which prevented the fuse from arming; and failure of the fuse. The MK82, he said,
contains more than 80 kilograms of explosives and weighs around three times as much.