A 250-kilogram piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) left behind from the US’s extensive bombing campaign here was found on Saturday by construction workers digging in Kandal province’s Ksach Kandal district, and was safely removed yesterday, Cambodian Mine Action Centre authorities said.
Pen Sarith, the CMAC official in charge of UXO in Phnom Penh and Kandal province, said that CMAC experts had been sent to the site and removed the large bomb before it had a chance to detonate.
“It is an MK82 [bomb] made in the US, and it was left there since the war era. It was a bomb dropped by a plane, and it can still explode,” he said.
Ksach Kandal district police chief Nov Sokhorn said the bomb was found by workers excavating land within the compound of a factory owned by the 7NG company on Saturday. Upon receiving word of the discovery, he continued, district police officials went to examine and cordon off the site, and police reported the find to CMAC.
“It could have exploded if we drove a tractor or bulldozer over it,” Sokhorn said.
At least three people – all children – have been killed by UXO so far this year, and according to CMAC figures, 22 were killed by UXO in 2013, down from 43 in 2012.