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Hue exhibition shows US’s deadly Agent Orange legacy

200 photos, documents and other items reveal how the chemical sprayed years ago continues to kill, cripple Vietnamese.

A photo of Ke Van Bac, who belongs to the second generation of Agent Orange victims in A Luoi District of Thua Thien-Hue Province, home to former imperial city Hue in central Vietnam.

Between 1961 and 1971 the U.S. army operated 19,905 flights spraying 80 million liters of deadly chemicals on land and forests in Vietnam. 61 percent of this, comprising 366 kilograms of dioxin, was Agent Orange.

The month-long exhibition opened Thursday at the Thua Thien Hue Historical Museum at No.1 23 Thang 8 Street, Hue.

Three sons were born to Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc (L) of Ho Chi Minh City with deformities due to the effects of dioxin. As many as 4.8 million Vietnamese have been affected by the chemical, with its impact reaching a fourth generation of children born to war veterans, and there is no way to predict when it will cease, if ever.

Nguyen Viet and Nguyen Duc, who were born in 1981 to a farming couple in central Vietnam where U.S. military aircraft sprayed massive amounts of the defoliant. A team of Japanese and Vietnamese doctors successfully separated the conjoined twins in 1988, but Viet had passed away at 26.

A forest in Ca Mau Province in the far south destroyed by Agent Orange. According to official data, 25 percent of forests in the south and central regions were affected by the U.S. army’s chemical campaign.

A U.S. army plastic can that used to contain the chemical is on display at the exhibition.

Barrels of defoliants about to be transferred to aircraft at Da Nang airport in central Vietnam.

M79 grenades that were used to spread the defoliants.

Signatures collected by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange to file lawsuits against American chemical companies and demand compensation. The association filed its first suit in 2004, which pinned the blame on 37 U.S. chemical manufacturers, but the case was dismissed by a U.S. court and the victims in Vietnam are still waiting for justice.

Vietnamese soldiers clean dioxin-contaminated soil at Bien Hoa military airport, a dioxin hotspot and former American airbase in Dong Nai Province near Ho Chi Minh City, in 2014.

Veteran Le Thi Thu Hang, 68, at the exhibition. Her grandchild was affected by Agent Orange and died.