Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - One less unexploded bomb to worry about

One less unexploded bomb to worry about

One less unexploded bomb to worry about

one.jpg
one.jpg

An MK82 aircraft bomb is destroyed by CMAC.

T

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 war.

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.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth