Police evacuated thousands of people from properties near Happy Valley yesterday after workers unearthed a 2,000 pound unexploded wartime bomb at a construction site.
SCMP reports that the bomb was discovered to be an AN-M66 containing 450kg of explosives. It’s the biggest of its kind dropped by US bombers during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in WWII.
Moving the bomb from the site was not an option due to risks of triggering an explosion, so the police bomb disposal team worked to dismantle the device this morning, according to SCMP.
Police and fire officers were called to the site in Hau Tak Lane, near the racecourse, when a worker discovered the bomb during excavation work at about 3.45pm. An area within a 200-metre radius was cleared.
A senior bomb disposal officer, Jimmy Yuen Hon-Wing, of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, said a US bomber flying out of Guangzhou had carried the bomb and that it must have landed on soft ground and failed to detonate.
“We dare not risk moving the bomb. It could cause severe damage within a radius of 10 metres, and buildings might collapse instantly. We also did not want to carry out a controlled explosion for safety reasons,” Yuen said.
Xinhua news agency said that the bomb disposal squad planned on surrounding the bomb with sand bags to cushion the blast incase of an explosion, and adopt cryogenic method to cut the bomb and take out the explosive before it was moved to a safe location.
Hong Kong was occupied by Japan from late 1941 to August 1945, and WWII-era bombs have been discovered there ever since. In 2006, workers found a cache of 588 WWII grenades and bombs, 188 of which still contained live explosives.
[Images via New.qq.com]