On 21 March 2017, at about 11:30 A.M. in Nyod Ngeum (Nongpet) Village in Paek District, Xieng Khouang Province, Miss. Lab Lee (10 years old) and Miss. Seng Lee (7 years old) found a UXO on the side of the road on the way home from school. Thinking it was a ball from the game pétanque, they took the ball home to play with their friends.
That day, the Lee family was having a baci ceremony, and the children were playing in the front yard. When Miss. Lab Lee took the UXO out to play with, the UXO dropped to ground, exploding. Tragically, Miss. Lab Lee was killed immediately, and the twelve cousins around her severely injured.
Immediately following the accident, the family brought some survivors to the Nongpet Sub-District Health Centre and some to the Xieng Khouang Provincial Hospital, where they received first aid. The same day, all survivors at the Sub-District Health Centre were transferred to the Xieng Khouang Provincial Hospital for further treatment; the Xieng Khouang Provincial Hospital notified World Education’s Victim Assistance Support Team (VAST) and the Quality of Life Association (QLA) of the accident one hour later, suggesting that VAST and QLA visit the survivors and their families the following day.
VAST coordinated with UXO Lao Xieng Khouang to check the accident area on the same day. Following this, UXO Lao confirmed that the type of UXO was BLU 26.
The next day, 22 March 2017, VAST and QLA went to the Provincial Hospital to meet with the survivors and their families to collect initial information and inform them of the War Victims Medical Fund (WVMF), which covers any and all medical expenses incurred by the accident. They also provided them with VAST’s and QLA’s contact phone numbers.
In the coming days, VAST and QLA will support the survivors and their family members in any way they possibly can. VAST is ready to facilitate the WVMF, and they are working on funeral support for Miss. Lab Lee and her family.