Two people were killed and five others injured when a bomb, believed to have been dropped by Japanese troops in WWII, detonated during a dig in Huixian city, Henan province on Wednesday.
Xinhua reports that residents in the Nanzhai township were digging up a water cellar when the blast occurred.
Wang Baixing, a bomb expert, believes the explosion was caused by a small aerobomb left by Japanese invaders after World War II.
Local elderly villagers said the Chinese army stationed in Nanzhai during the war and there was a military hospital. Therefore, Nanzhai was often bombed by Japanese planes.
Undetonated wartime-era bombs are occasionally found in China after having been embedded in the earth some 70 years.
In December, around 10 metric tons of explosives left behind by the Japanese army were set off during a controlled detonation in Hengyang, Hunan province. The year before, a Chongqing farmer found some undetonated bombs from the Second World War and, without knowing what they were, kept the things stored under her bed for 25 years.
Thousands of people had to be evacuated in Hong Kong when workers unearthed a 2,000 pound unexploded wartime bomb at a construction site. The bomb was identified as an AN-M66 containing 450kg of explosives, although this one was dropped by US planes during Japanese occupation in Hong Kong.
Wang said that deeply-buried bombs usually don’t explode at the scene, but the force caused by the excavation machine was likely enough to set it off. He added that hundreds of such explosives are found each year in Henan alone, and dozens of grenades were excavated at a construction site in the same city just last Thursday.
The tragic story comes just weeks ahead of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which falls on September 3.
[Image via bbs.tiexue.net]