Unexploded Bomb: Hong Kong WWII Find Forces Evacuations

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 03:52 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Half a ton of TNT explosives were discovered Wednesday in an unexploded World War II bomb during construction of a Hong Kong hotel, resulting in evacuations and deployment of a bomb squad.

The bomb was found by construction workers as they began clearing the area for the Hong Kong building’s foundation, Bloomberg News reported. Nearby hotels and other businesses were evacuated.

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RTHK in Hong Kong reported that the bomb is too big to be detonated, which means the explosives will have to be removed. That process could take six to eight hours.

"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," a bomb disposal officer told the South China Morning Post.

The bomb is an AN-M66, which held 450 kg, or almost 1,000 pounds, of explosives, the Morning Post said.

Some media reports indicated the bomb may contain 2,000 pounds of explosives.

The Guardian said guests at nearby hotels were placed at other area hotels, and staff were staying at a nearby community center.

This wasn’t the first unpleasant reminder of World War II to be found in Hong Kong. An unexploded British artillery shell was found in the city’s Fortress Hill district just last year, and in 2006, a large stash of 588 grenades and bombs was found. Almost 200 of them contained live explosives.

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