By Cal Widdall
The mouth of Suzhou Creek, next to the Huangpu River.
Over one hundred unexploded war-time bombs, and possibly treasure, have been discovered in Suzhou Creek during the final phase of the 14 billion RMB clean-up project, which began in 1998.
1.3 million cubic metres of what we believe is known as ‘goo and icky stuff’ have been dredged since last January, with firefighters remaining on permanent stand-by in the event of any bombs being found. Yuan Yunfeng, a senior engineer with the company conducting the dredging, reassuringly said, “We knew that we would find that type of thing,” then, somewhat less reassuringly, “But never thought that there would be so many bombs.”
Some of the bombs, dating back to the second Sino-Japanese war between 1937-45 (though we’ll have to check with Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara whether this actually happened), were spotted immediately, but others were not discovered until the mud was cleared. At one point, they were being found so frequently that a police bomb disposal squad was based at the site.
As well as warheads, Cheng Huifeng, deputy director with the city dyke and sluice administration office, claims, “We heard rumors that some migrant workers didn’t come back to work after dredging up gold, though it was never confirmed.”
“But it’s definitely true that antique collectors on the lookout for anything valuable gathered at the landfill where workers washed away the mud.”
Tourism boat trips along the creek are due to start before the end of the month. Hopefully they won’t begin with a bang.