The blast occurred on Thursday, when a 42 year-old scrap metal collector, Pham Anh Tuan, tried to dismantle the 105-mm artillery shell to sell the explosives and metal. According to local media the device detonated as he was sawing into it, instantly killing three people, with another three dying en route to hospital.
All those killed were between five and 18. Another boy was slightly injured and Tuan is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
Such incidents are routine in central and southern parts of Vietnam, where a large number of unexploded munitions were left over from the 1965-1975 Vietnam War. According to a Vietnam veterans organization in the United States some 15 million tons of bombs, mines and other ordnance were deployed by the U.S. Armed Forces, of which around 350,000 tons were left undetonated.
Since the end of the conflict around 38,000 people have been killed by unexploded bombs in Vietnam.