Date
24 May 2018
Experts identified a bomb found in Wan Chai over the weekend as a US-made ANM-65 (inset) that may have been dropped from the air as part of the air raids during World War II. Photos: HKEJ, Internet
Experts identified a bomb found in Wan Chai over the weekend as a US-made ANM-65 (inset) that may have been dropped from the air as part of the air raids during World War II. Photos: HKEJ, Internet

Massive wartime bomb defused in Wan Chai in lengthy operation

Explosives experts on Sunday defused a massive World War II-era bomb that was found buried at a site in Wan Chai, an operation that took almost 30 hours and prompted several road closures and the evacuation of hundreds of people from nearly buildings. 

At about 7 am Saturday, a worker of the MTR Shatin-Central Link (SCL) project found a bomb at a construction site near the intersection of Convention Avenue and Tonnochy Road.

Police officers arrived at the scene soon along with experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau and took safety precautions, including evacuating more than a thousand residents and hotel guests in buildings in the area.

Also, authorities closed several roads as bomb disposal experts began work in a bid to defuse the device safely, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

After examinations, experts identified it as a US-made ANM-65 bomb, weighing about 450 kg, which may have been dropped from the air as part of the air raids during World War II.

Evaluations led bomb disposal officers to decide upon abrasive water cutting, which involved cutting multiple holes on the bomb, so that they could take out the explosives in batches.

The work began at around 7:30 am and was completed only at 2:30 pm the next day, meaning that it took a total of more than 30 hours.

No one was injured during the process and the explosives were burned.

Tony Chow Shek-kin, a senior bomb disposal officer, said fragments of the bomb could have extended 1,000 to 2,000 meters and people and objects within a radius of 200 to 300 meters could have been impacted, had the device exploded.

Since the bomb was 25 meters deep in the ground and the space there was narrow, bomb disposal officers were forced to spend more time than expected dealing with it, according to Chow.

A large number of people who were at nearly homes or stayed in hotels near the Wan Chai Exhibition Centre Station that is under construction were evacuated during the operation.

In 2014, a similar bomb was found at a construction site in Happy Valley.

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TL/JC/RC

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