Cluster bomb is safely destroyed so construction of a new clan temple in Quang Tri Province can continue

Hai Lang District, Quang Tri Province – 30 October 2015

The O Lau River flows through Hai Lang District in Quang Tri Province.  Along its banks is historic Luong Dien Village, one of the oldest villages in the province. In 1508, people migrating from Tonkin settled in this area and founded a small village named Ke Lang.  Called Luong Phuc in the 18th century, the village was chosen by the Nguyen Lords as the location to be their headquarters and army base for their conquest of the south. Luong Phuc was again renamed as Luong Dien in 1804; two years after Emperor Gia Long – the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty – ascended the throne.

The village was made up of seven clans of families who lived together. Each of these clans built a temple to worship their own clan ancestry.  During the two wars against the French and the Americans, all of these temples were destroyed. In August 2015, the Nguyen Ton clan started rebuilding their temple with contributions collected from its member families. The work was near completion when a cluster bomb was found, creating an emergency situation.  All activity ceased immediately.


The cluster bomb was discovered on the morning of Monday, 26 October as workers were digging a foundation for the temple wall.  Mr. Nguyen Ton Luy, a 60-year-old villager who was elected by the clan to supervise the construction, knew immediately what the device was, and he knew it was lethal.  He stopped the workers from any further activity and put in a call to Project RENEW’s hotline to report the discovery.

Within an hour, Project RENEW’s EOD Team No. 1, which was already operating in Hai Lang District not far away, arrived at the construction site.  Mr. Luy greeted team members and led them to the location where the wartime ordnance was uncovered.

EOD team members quickly evacuated everyone in the area to a safe distance and started their work. Team Leader Le Xuan Tung checked the device and confirmed that it was a BLU-26 cluster bomblet, which Mr. Luy had correctly identified thanks to the extensive Risk Education training that Project RENEW has carried out in Quang Tri Province. Because the item was unstable and extremely dangerous, Tung ordered his team members to destroy the bomb in place.

Half an hour later, after the bomb was safely disposed of, Team Leader Tung informed Mr. Luy that he could allow his workers to resume construction of the temple.

“Cluster bombs are deadly weapons that account for nearly 40 percent of the total deaths and injuries in Quang Tri Province since 1975,” Tung reminded Mr. Luy as he thanked him for the timely call-in.

“It is really important that local people stay constantly alert so they can provide life-saving information to our teams, so that we can destroy these bombs as quickly as possible,” he added.

Tung said based on the discovery of this cluster bomb, he will recommend that Project RENEW’s work plan be amended and a technical survey team be deployed in Luong Dien Village, to map out the contaminated area that needs full clearance.

Photos by Le Xuan Tung/Project RENEW

This entry was posted in Legacy of the War, US-VN Relationship - Quan hệ Việt Mỹ, UXO - Unexploded Ordnance, Vietnam War and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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