Two American-made AN-M65 model 450kg bombs left over from World War II were discovered last week by the MTR Corporation, Hong Kong's railway agency. The bombs were found stuck in the mud at a Wan Chai construction site where MTR has been construction a rail link for the Sha Tin-Central line.
The company said there was too much metal in the site's ground to use electronic detectors, so instead relied on visual inspections by workers.
5,000 people in the area were evacuated overnight so police bomb disposal officers could cut through the bombs' casing and burn off the explosives inside.
Officer Alick McWhirter of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau stressed that the operation was made considerably more difficult by the rain-soaked work site and the device’s deteriorating condition.
“Bomb disposal operations are dirty, difficult and dangerous. In this particular case, all three were true,” he said. “Because of the rain yesterday, the working conditions were not good. Because of the location, it was extremely difficult to be able to access it. Because of the nature of the [bomb’s] firing mechanism and fuses – one of which we couldn’t even see – it was extremely dangerous for the officers engaged in the disposal operation.”
For more on this story, read Hong Kong Police Disarm Second 450kg Wartime Bomb here.