• Short Summary

    ABOUT 450 COMMONWEALTH ARMY ENGINEERS -- BRITISH, AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND -- ARE BUILDING A 5,000-YARD STRATEGIC AIRFIELD, NORTHEAST OF THAILAND, NEAR THE LAOTIAN BORDER.

  • Description

    ABOUT 450 COMMONWEALTH ARMY ENGINEERS -- BRITISH, AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND -- ARE BUILDING A 5,000-YARD STRATEGIC AIRFIELD, NORTHEAST OF THAILAND, NEAR THE LAOTIAN BORDER. THE ONE MILLION POUNDS STERLING PROJECT IS A GIFT FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO THE THAI GOVERNMENT. THE ENGINEERS HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THE PROJECT FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, WHICH IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED THIS YEAR.

    AT PRESENT, THE ENGINEERS, MOST OF THEM NORMALLY BASED IN SINGAPORE AND MALAYA, ARE WORKING A 16-HOUR DAY; SOMETIMES UNDER A TEMPERATURE OF UP TO 125 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, IN A ENDEAVOUR TO BEAT THE COMING MONSOON SEASON. THEY ARE BEING ASSISTED BY SOME OF THEIR THAI COUNTERPARTS. LAST YEAR, WORK WAS HELD UP FOR SEVERAL MONTHS BECAUSE MOST OF THE AREAS WERE SWAMPED UNDER FIVE FEET OF WATER.

    THE ENGINEERS FOUND THEIR OWN WATER; THEY USE 60,000 GALLONS A DAY, MORE THAN 40,000 OF IT ON THE AIRSTRIP, CONSOLIDATING THE SOIL AND TRYING TO LAY THE POWDER-LIKE DUST THAT IS CONSTANTLY BLOWING ABOUT, LIEUTENANT COLONEL KENNETH ORREL, IS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PROJECT.

    THEY HAVE ALSO GIVEN A NEARBY VILLAGE AN ELECTRIC PUMP. BEFORE THEIR ARRIVAL, IT TOOK TWO WOMEN ABOUT 15 MINUTES TO HAND PUMP ONE BUCKET OF WATER. NOW WATER IS ON TAP, AND THE VILLAGERS HAVE RUNNING WATER.

    THE ENGINEERS HAVE TAKEN A KEEN INTEREST IN THE THAI VILLAGERS AROUND THEM. THE CAMP'S 14-BED AIRCONDITIONED HOSPITAL PROVIDES A DAILY CLINIC FOR THE VILLAGERS. PRINCIPLE COMPLAINT IN STOMACH DISTURBANCES, A SHORTAGE OF VITAMINS AND TREATMENT OF SORES. ONE REGULAR PATIENT IS A MAN WHOSE FOOT WAS AMPUTATED BY A FRIEND WITH A KNIFE IN A PADDY FIELD AFTER HE HAD BEEN BITTEN BY A POISONOUS SNAKE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4Q0H9TUIZN7WZ4X2CGB7RS5Y9
    Media URN:
    VLVA4Q0H9TUIZN7WZ4X2CGB7RS5Y9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/04/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:16:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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