Three people were killed yesterday morning after a Word War II-era mortar exploded at an iron smelter in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagon township.
An eyewitness at the smelter’s compound said the explosive device was mistakenly being dismantled with other pieces of metal when the round exploded. Several other bombs were found after the accident.
“Three people were killed – all of them kids – a 13 year old and two 16 year olds. Three unexploded bombs were also found,” said the unnamed eyewitness.
Two people were also said to have sustained injuries.
The incident took place at a small private smelting workshop in an industrial ward located along the old Rangoon-Mandalay highway, far from residential areas.
It remains unclear how the bombs ended up in the smelter, but news reports within the country claim that the device was a World War II relic. Burma served as a major theatre of conflict during the war that spread across large swaths of Asia, Africa and Europe.
According to a report by the Associated Press, seven people in Arakan state were killed when a similar World War II ordnance found in a river exploded.