An excavator operator was lucky to escape with his life on Sunday evening after striking a 227-kilogram bomb left over from the 1970s while digging in Kandal province’s Ksach Kandal district.
“It is an MK82 [bomb] made in US, and it was left since the war era,” said Un Yung, Ksach Kandal deputy district police chief. “It was stuck about three metres deep.
They informed the local police officials about the UXO [unexploded ordnance], and luckily it didn’t explode when the excavator pressed it.”
Pen Sarin, a Cambodia Mine Action Centre team leader in Kandal, said yesterday that experts spent three hours on Monday removing the UXO before moving it to Kampong Chhnang for safekeeping.
“The UXO bomb that we took from the ground on Monday could still work, though it was left since the [Khmer Rouge’s civil] war with the Lon Nol regime,” he said. “We took it to keep there, and the experts will take the gunpowder out of the bomb.”
Deputy district police chief Yung said that, to his knowledge, two pieces of UXO had been found and removed in his district so far this year.
“This was a bloody area during the Lon Nol regime, and there were a lot of barracks located in the district,” he said.
Yung said that the police did not prohibit further excavation on site, but told workers to tell authorities immediately if they found any more explosives.