Divers Recover Aircraft Bomb From Flooded Quarry

Members of the Cambodian Mine Action Center’s (CMAC) Salvage Dive Unit recovered a U.S.-made MK-82 aircraft bomb from a flooded rock quarry in Kompong Speu province, according to the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, which trained the divers.

Quarry workers contacted CMAC about the unexploded 500-pound bomb several days ago, said Mike Nisi, chief of underwater operations for Golden West. The dive unit removed the bomb from water at the base of a 10-meter-tall cliff, he said.

Members of the Cambodian Mine Action Center’s Salvage Dive Unit lift an MK-82 aircraft bomb from a quarry in Kompong Speu province on Wednesday. (Charles Fox)
Members of the Cambodian Mine Action Center’s Salvage Dive Unit lift an MK-82 aircraft bomb from a quarry in Kompong Speu province on Wednesday. (Charles Fox)

“We pulled it over by hand to the edge of the cliff and got one of the excavators from the construction site, tied a rope from the excavator to the bomb and used the excavator to lift it to the top of the cliff.”

The dive unit’s third recovery effort followed a similar operation in March, when 11 divers pulled four 105-mm artillery shells and an MK-82 bomb from the bed of the Tonle Sap river on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Golden West estimates that some 300 barges sank under fire from the Khmer Rouge while ferrying U.S. supplies from South Vietnam to Phnom Penh during the Second Indochina War.

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