07 February 2008

UXO casualties in 2007

There is stacks of unexploded ordnance (UXO) which are bombs that didn't explode when America dropped them during the Indochina war. Lao is the most heavily bombed nation in the world, having more bombs dropped on it than the total bombs used in WW2. Therefore accidents happen.

Last quarter 2007
The statistics from the National Regulatory Authority, the entity responsible for coordinating UXO issues in Lao show that in the last quarter of 2007, there were five deaths and eight injuries. This is how some of the accidents happened:
  • Played with the grenade HE Frag F1
  • They made a fire near the house and the 23mm of artillery underground exploded
  • He found the mortar fuse then hit it and it exploded
  • They played with the UXO with a stick causing it to explode
  • He played with the UXO by throwing it against a tree causing it to explode
  • He cut the vegetation and hit the 33mm of artillery causing it to explode
Six of the casualties were children (three male and three female), six were adults (all male). Males have a higher rate of casualties because they are work outside. Statistics are collected from 9 of Laos' 17 provinces, I'm guessing from the most heavily bombed ones. I would expect that these casualties are underreported because not everyone, particularly in remote areas, would not know to report them.

2007 statistics

These statistics for the 9 provinces surveyed
  • There were 30 deaths
  • There were 69 injuries
  • 19 deaths of male children
  • Nil deaths of female children
  • 11 deaths of male adults
  • Nil deaths of female adults
  • 27 injuries male children
  • 7 injuries female children
  • 30 injuries male adults
  • 5 injuries female adults

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