Mortar munitions are covered with a metal plate near the Bao Loc Pass in Lam Dong Province as they are discovered on July 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Thanh.
A wartime bunker of mortar munitions was discovered under the Bao Loc Pass in Lam Dong Province on Wednesday.
The Bao Loc Pass, three hours from the popular resort town Da Lat, was a strategic military point during the Vietnam War.
The bunker was discovered when a construction team used an excavator to move a utility pole near the end of the pass, local military officers said. The excavator hit the bunker underground and the construction team informed authorities.
At least 31 60mm mortar munitions were retrieved by military authorities from the site. The entire content of the bunker in terms of types of ammunition and quantity are yet unknown.
The site has been quarantined pending plans to dispose of the munitions.
Decades after the Vietnam War ended, unexploded ordnance still threatens a fifth of the country’s land mass and explosions are not uncommon. According to the United Nations, 104,000 Vietnamese people have been killed by bombs, landmines and artillery shells since the end of the war in 1975.
Many people from poor rural areas have been and are killed or maimed by inadvertently triggering the devices, or while trying to cut them open to resell the explosives and the metal to scrap dealers.