Unexploded World War II bomb defused by Hong Kong police

·2-min read

An unexploded wartime bomb weighing about 100lbs that could have “caused serious damage” was defused by Hong Kong police on Friday.

The device, which was found in a construction site near Kai Tak MTR station on Thursday afternoon, forced the evacuation of more than 2,300 people from nearby residences and businesses.

Train services resumed at the station after the bomb was safely removed at around 5.30am.

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“If it had exploded, it would have caused serious damage to nearby residencies and the nearby MTR [station],” said senior bomb disposal officer Alick McWhirter.

Bomb squad officers study the device found near Kai Tak MTR station. Photo: Handout
Bomb squad officers study the device found near Kai Tak MTR station. Photo: Handout

According to police, the bomb, which was around one metre long, was American and dated from the second world war.

“The bomb was badly damaged and was in a dangerous and unstable condition. It could not be removed safely from the location,” McWhirter said.

The bomb was first identified by workers at a construction site in Muk Yuen Street in Kai Tak on Thursday afternoon. Police were then called to the scene.

Around 1,000 people were evacuated from Kai Tak MTR station while the bomb was being dealt with. Photo: Winson Wong
Around 1,000 people were evacuated from Kai Tak MTR station while the bomb was being dealt with. Photo: Winson Wong

Eddie Chan Wah-kong, division commander for Ngau Tau Kok police district, said more than 2,300 people in total had been evacuated.

They included some 1,000 workers at the site where the bomb was found and another three locations nearby, around 1,000 staff and people in the Kai Tak station, and more than 300 residents from 174 flats facing the construction site at One Kai Tak residential estate.

Officers from the bomb squad began handling the device at around 11.50pm on Thursday, and defused it on Friday morning.

The site where the explosive was found lies in the area of the former Kai Tak International Airport, which served the city from 1925 to 1998.

Unexploded wartime bombs have been discovered in the city periodically, and mostly at construction sites.

In February, a wartime bomb unearthed at a construction site at a Sikh temple in Happy Valley was defused, with about 300 worshippers and guests at a nearby hotel evacuated. It weighed 454kg and was 1.3 metres long and 0.4 metres in diameter.

In May, a 200kg Japanese armour-piercing shell was discovered at the Tseung Kwan O Landfill. About 50 people were evacuated before it was destroyed by police.

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