Dozens of people were evacuated from University of Hong Kong (HKU) staff quarters in Pok Fu Lam on Monday after an old unexploded bomb was discovered at a construction site nearby.
The 500-pound bomb, believed to be from World War II, was found three meters underground at about 10 am by construction workers at a hillside site, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Following an alert, police officers arrived at the scene with bomb disposal experts and took safety precautions.
Fearing that there could be serious damage if the bomb suddenly explodes, the police moved quickly to evacuate workers at the site, where three new six-story residential buildings were coming up.
Also evacuated were residents in the surrounding area, including 67 HKU staff and their relatives who live in three blocks of flats in Middleton Towers.
The roads in the neighborhood were cordoned off to block entrance of people and vehicles.
The bomb was detonated safely later in the night by experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau.
Authorities identified it as a US-made M64 bomb that may have been dropped from the air during the Second World War.
The bomb was said to have had 260 pounds of TNT explosives still in it.
According to Chow Shek-kin, a bomb disposal officer, fragments of the bomb can fly as far as 2,000 meters if it explodes.
Given the potential danger, Chow’s team took 7-8 hours to make the arrangements, seal off an area covering a radius of 400 meters and cover the bomb with sandbags, Apple Daily reports.
After the preparations, bomb experts opened up two holes in the bomb and slowly burned out the explosives inside.
It took them more than two hours to complete the detonation process.
A military commentator said the bomb was likely one of those dropped by US B-25 bombers during the late period of World War II when the allies sought to destroy military facilities built in Hong Kong by the Japanese army.
- Contact us at [email protected]