Casualties & Survivors

November 17, 2017

Xieng Khouang – Khongthong, 28, was up early tending his rice field, burning the grass that he had cut on previous days. At 6:00am after not more than 20 minutes of burning there was an explosion from the fire. His brother heard the sound of the explosion and hurried to the accident scene. Khongthong was transported to the Provincial hospital and the doctor operated to amputate his left thumb and treat his injuries on his chest and leg. It was later determined that the accident was caused by UXO that was detonated from the heat of the burning. (News from World Education)

August 5, 2017

Savannakhet – At 12:30 pm in Tayong village, Nong District, Savannakhet Province, Phone (33), Abo (36), and Khamphieng (35) were dismantling a big bomb to harvest the metal in the bush near Abo’s upland rice field, along the road between Tayong and Panea villages. The bomb detonated, and tragically, Phone and Abo were killed instantly. Khamphieng was severely injured, with shrapnel all over his upper body, his eyes severely injured, and burn wounds on his hands and face. He was rushed to the hospital and treated in the trauma ward. (News from World Education).

March 21, 2017

Xieng Khouang – Seng Lee, 7, and her sister, Lab Lee, 10, were walking home from school on a road that was under construction when they found a metal ball (UXO) beside the road construction site. They thought it was a Pétanque ball so they took it home to play with their friends. On this same day the family was having a Shaman Basic ceremony at home so there were many people (children and adults) that had come to visit the family and participate in the ceremony. When the two girls arrived at home there were many children playing. Miss Lab Lee took the metal ball (UXO) out to play with them. Tragically, the UXO dropped from her hand and hit the ground, exploding and killing her instantly. There were 12 people around her, ages 2 to 57, which also endured significant injuries. (News received from World Education).

August 20th, 2016

Xieng Khoang – Five kids, ages seven to nine, were playing soccer in their village in Xieng Khoang on Saturday at around 3pm when they found a bombie next to the field. Curious, they took it home and played with it, trying to see what was inside. The bombie exploded and the sound of the blast was heard by one of the boy’s parents.  They rushed back home to find all the boys covered with blood. They rushed them to the district hospital, but their injuries were too serious, so they were told to go to the provincial hospital. They reached the provincial hospital at 6pm – three hours after the accident. All the boys were admitted, with injuries ranging from burns, cuts from head to foot and loss of limbs. Four of them were eventually released, with needed follow-up care. Their friend, nine-year-old Lor, is still in intensive care, and has injuries on his hands, arms, face and neck. The boys are in 2nd, 4th and 8th grades. (News received from World Education).

July 25th, 2016

Xieng Khoang – Blong, 8, was collecting wood in the forest with his father when he found a bombie. He brought it home and was playing with it when the bomb exploded. Fragments tore into the left side of his body and arm. His little sister, 4, was nearby and was also injured. Fortunately, both survived the bomb blast and are slowly recovering. Blong doesn’t have full use of his left arm and hand. His grandparents lived under the bombings during the war.

August 29, 2013

Huaykhae Village, Chomphet District, Luang Prabang Province – Khe (13 years old) and five other boys, Ming (10), Mee (6), Bounngou (5), Lo (12), and Chantee (12) were out looking for bamboo shoots in the nearby woods when they spotted and unknowingly picked up a bombie, tossed it amongst themselves, and tried to cut it open in order to see what was inside. Their attempt to strike the bombie open caused it to explode–instantly killing Khe and seriously injuring two other boys in the stomach. The rest sustained shrapnel wounds to their legs and feet, and ringing in their ears.

December 2012

Palane Village, Nonghaet District, Xieng Khouang Province – Mr. Brong (28 years old) and his family were digging a path to connect to their rice field, 8 km away from their village, when Mr. Brong struck a bombie. His family was not able to get him to Xieng Khouang hospital for almost 12 hours, where his severed hand had to be amputated. The blast also knocked out several teeth and injured his legs.

October 12, 2012

Nyodngue Village, Paek District, Xieng Khouang Province – Mr. Chayoua (72 years old) and his wife were making a fire to cook dinner on their farm, 10 miles from the village, when something exploded in the fire. Chayoua suffered wounds to his hand, eyes, and head. They could not get back to the village until the next day, when they had to take a bus to Xieng Khouang hospital.

Yone Village, Paek District, Xieng Khouang Province – Mrs. Saodam (65 years old) made a fire to cook sticky rice in bamboo, and as she bent over to tend to the food, a bombie exploded. Saodam suffered wounds to leg, knee, and throat. She lives near Xieng Khouang hospital and was able to get treated right away.

September 2012

Mone Village, Paek District, Xieng Khouang Province – Three boys, Koua (10), Youa (12), and Ye (15) were playing in a family garden when they found a cluster bomb. They picked it up and were playing with it when the bombie exploded, injuring Koua and Youa. Ye died immediately from the blast.

February 12, 2012

Deputy PM calls for more detailed register of UXO victims (Vientiane Times)
The Deputy Prime Minister of Laos called on the National Regulatory Authority, the body that coordinates UXO removal in the country, to improve its accounting and reporting of UXO victims and survivors nationwide. “There are more than 20,000 UXO survivors in the country, but we want the NRA committee to make clearer distinctions so that we know, for example, how many had to undergo amputations and how many were blinded, as well as their vocational status.”

January 2012

Tam Luang village, Sephon District, Savannakhet Province – To warm themselves against the winter chill during one early evening,a woman and six children built a fire in their backyard. The fire heated a UXO lodged in the ground, and it exploded, killing four of the children and injuring the other two children and the woman. Of the four children killed,three were boys (10, 10, and 12 years old) and one was a girl (three years old). Three of the children died instantly, and one died in the hospital from shrapnel wounds. The survivors suffered burns on their legs.

June 2011

La Bang Num Village, Nong District, Savannakhet Province – Mr.Lath (60) is a farmer and father of three. Every day, he and his wife wake up early to work on their farm, returning only at sunset. Mr. Lath was unaware that his family was living in an area contaminated by UXO.

On June 8, 2011, Mr. Lath went into the jungle to collect food. He stepped on a white phosphorus bomb hidden in the thick forest ground which seriously injured his right leg. After trying to walk 4 kilometers to his home, Mr. Lath was taken to the provincial hospital for treatment.

Luk Sam Ship Ha Village, Pak Song District, Champasack Province– Mr. Seng (25) and Mr. Thon (20) work on a plantation in Champasak Province to support their parents and siblings. As they were walking together near the camp, Mr. Thon stepped on an unexploded ordnance which immediately ignited. Mr.Thon died of his injuries after being treated for four days at the provincial hospital. Mr. Seng was left with severe arm, leg and back injuries.

Peung Pa Village, Phoukoud District, Xiengkhouang Province– June is planting season on upland rice fields in Laos. At the crack of dawn, Ms. Bang (20) and five of her cousins went out to plant crops. As always, she set up a fire for lunch. But the heat of the fire set off a piece of unexploded ammunition buried underground. The explosion left her with serious injuries. Ms. Bang has a baby boy to care for while her husband is away working in remote areas to support the family.

Dak Ta Oak Gai Village, Dakchiung District, Sekong Province– Vannakham (12) studies at secondary school, though he is rarely able to attend because he must support his family by selling coffee beans. He was helping his parents to cut grass around their coffee trees during the rainy season when he saw a round metal object lying untouched on the ground.Naturally curious, Vannakham tried to pick up the object, an unexploded cluster bomblet. The resulting explosion left him with serious hand injuries.

Sack Soad village, Phoukoud District, Xiengkhouang Province– Dalee (8) is the second of eight siblings in his family. He studies at the local secondary school and also works to support his family by selling vegetables. Dalee had just finished his second semester of school and was happy to be starting his summer holidays. He and two friends went out to a field to feed his cow when Dalee’s curiosity was piqued by an unexploded artillery shell. He threw a stone at it, triggering an immediate explosion. Dalee had to be hospitalized and lost part of his right hand.

May 2011

Hauy Saun Village, Vilabuly District, Savannakhet Province– When school broke for lunch, Sod (12) and his friends Vanthid (9) and SonPhet (10) went into the nearby jungle to collect bamboo and dig up something to eat. Sod was busily searching the ground when his hoe hit an unexploded BLU American cluster bomblet. The bomblet exploded. Sod was killed. Vanthid was seriously injured and spent the subsequent week in hospital. Ten-year-old SomPhet is paralyzed for life.

Hauy Khi Ling Village, Nonghet District, Xiengkhoung Province– When school broke for Palai Chang, a two year old girl, was sleeping in her cradle by the fire as her parents worked in their nearby rice field. The heat of the fire that kept Palai Chang warm also set off a bomb that was buried under ground. Palai Chang was seriously hurt, but she survived the blast.

Fay Village, Kham District, Xiengkhoung Province – Ms. Bai (28, farmer) owns a rice field with her husband about a mile and a half away from their village. Together, they spent the morning plowing their field and planting crops for the new growing season. Just before midday, Ms. Bai’s hoe hit a cluster bomblet that was buried in the ground. A mother of three, she suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to the provincial hospital.

Tham La Village, Vienthong District, Hauphan Province – Mr. Khenthong (52, farmer) was pruning excess vegetation on his rice field. His knife hit a BLU cluster bomblet that had passed unnoticed. Khenthong was taken to hospital but survived the explosion.

Namkaen Village, Kasi District, Vientiane Province – Kham Khen (10) and Pin (9) were looking for food on their way back from school. They found a piece of metal lying on the ground. Like any children their age, they picked it up and probably started to play. We will never be sure of what happened, because the cluster bomblet they were holding exploded and killed them both.

Source: National Regulatory Authority (NRA); World Education