Three killed after sawing through old bomb – This is surely a contender for the Darwin Awards. Three men have been blown up and killed after trying to saw through a shell left over from the Vietnam war.
They were attempting to break open the 105mm artillery shell to salvage metal and explosives, police revealed.
They were all killed when the shell exploded in southern Tay Ninh province.

More than 38,000 Vietnamese nationals are thought to have been killed and 100,000 injured by explosives left over from the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.

  1. Chrisindarwin says:

    Darwin Awards.
    Really ?

  2. Mr. Fusion says:

    I would have thought Viet Nam would have been one of the first places to get the memo, translate it, and circulate it among the people. Oh well.

  3. dusanmal says:

    @#1: Yes, wherever you are and whoever you are – if you saw through old bomb you deserve Darwin Award (and its consequences).

  4. Benjamin says:

    In Afghanistan, the people try to reclaim explosives from old landmines to use in mining. This is extremely dangerous and results in death or injury. Afghanistan is covered with landmines.

  5. jescott418 says:

    I am sorry but I cannot stop laughing at the image. You got to wonder if some people were really shorted some brain power.

  6. MikeN says:

    38,000 dead? That’s four per day. Those must be some pretty deadly weapons that take out hundreds at a time, since I doubt people are uncovering these every day.

  7. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    MikeN…they still come up out of the ground in France…from WWI. Still places there you can’t go, fenced-off areas where the trenches are more or less intact and military stuff is laying around.

    Source…a book written by a guy who walked the entire front line in the late 80’s.

  8. MikeN says:

    #7 yes, but are they being turned up daily? That’s what would be needed to get these death numbers. I do see that Vietnam hasn’t been very thorough in prevention efforts, rejecting international aid, but it still strikes me as doubtful.

  9. The0ne says:

    These 3 people were most likely very poor and rather take the huge risk in doing what they’ve done. This happens all the time there, especially in small villages. They do have a agency to safely remove stuff like this 🙂

  10. George says:

    The problem with the human brain is that it assumes its continued existence from one moment to the next. When that inevitable time comes where it must make a choice between life and oblivion, it fails to comprehend the gravity of the decision and therefore makes the wrong one.

    Therefore, humans will continue to do dumb shit like saw into live artillery shells.

    FWIW, there are “more safe” ways to cut shells, like using a high pressure waterjet.

  11. Ron Larson says:

    #6 is right. That averages out to 3 people killed and 8 injured EVERY SINGLE DAY since the end of the Vietnam War. My gut tells me that those numbers have been exaggerated.

  12. bobbo says:

    No award. Beating our bombs into metal parts has been done in Vietnam ever since we started dropping bombs on their agrarian culture.

    They just didn’t follow the directions. Quite different than Darwin Award Stupid.

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    #13, Bobbo,

    “But, they coulda bin a contender” (spoken like you have cotton between your cheeks and gums).

  14. ECA says:

    you would THINK that someone would hand out a booklet on HOW to disarm them FIRST..
    After 30 years, they should have a PERFECT way to disable these SO THEY DONT GO BOOM..

  15. mawd says:

    This happened when I was stationed in southern california once. The locals would scour the bomb ranges for whatever they could find and one guy in El Centro, CA had filled his garage with all kinds of stuff. One day he decided to try to make an end table out of an unexploded side winder, and while he was cutting through it with the blow torch (yeah, i know) the rocket motor went off and that was pretty much it. they called the E.O.D. out of San Diego and he had all kinds of cool stuff in his garage.

  16. NobodySpecial says:

    Not a Darwin award. You are a poor farmer, the metal in this shell will pay for a weeks food. Generally shells do not detonate when cutting them unless the explosive has become unstable.

    Were those people killed in the helicopter crash off Newfoundland a Darwin award? After all they must be stupid to go and work on oil rig (or in coal mine, or as a fireman, or join the army …..)

  17. Paddy-O says:

    Yep, Darwin contender. If 3 people/day are offed by these, who would willingly cut into them?

  18. bobbo says:

    Darwin awards are unanimous.

  19. Yellowguy says:

    John, the blue bomb means it is inert.
    But still a great story.

  20. Greg Allen says:

    Call me a bleeding-heart liberal, but I cut some slack for desperately poor people.

    When I was living in Pakistan, there was one of the most horrific “Darwin” stories I ever heard. A petrol truck was in a an accident and started leaking. The villagers ran out to fill their buckets and the whole scene went up in flames killing a lot of people (I forget how many … but a lot)

    People were quick to give them the Darwin award but not me. Poverty sucks that way.

    If this Second Republican Great Depression gets worse, we’re gonna see a lot more Darwin behavior.

  21. Greg Allen says:


    I can’t defend the 38,000 number but I worked with an NGO that removed landmines in Vietnam and neighboring countries and I am sure the number of dead is a very large number — and growing.

    While Americans are collectively forgot about our wars, the local people are still dying from them.

    The Bush Administration, and its supporters, have a long list of shameful things to repent over, and refusing to sign the landmine treaty is high on it.

  22. sonic the hedgehog says:

    Still its careless to try this. I myself dont think that is a wise idea. A darwin award they should win. Very poor decision to try this. They didnt realize that the chance of it exploding was ensured by the fact it hadnt exploded.


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