• Mon
  • Sep 15, 2014
  • Updated: 1:50pm
NewsHong Kong

More than 2,000 evacuated as wartime bomb unearthed in Happy Valley

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 2:08pm

A 2,000-pound unexploded US wartime bomb was unearthed on a Happy Valley construction site yesterday, sparking the evacuation of more than 2,000 people from nearby hotels, offices and flats.

Early this morning a police bomb disposal team was working to dismantle the device - an AN-M66, which contained 450kg of explosives. The bomb was the biggest of its kind dropped on Hong Kong by US bombers during the Japanese occupation of the city in the second world war.

Watch: An unexploded US bomb at a Happy Valley construction site

Moving the bomb from the construction site was not an option due to the risk of triggering a huge explosion.

Police and fire officers were called to the site in Hau Tak Lane, near the racecourse, when a worker discovered the bomb during excavation work at about 3.45pm. An area within a 200-metre radius was cleared.

A senior bomb disposal officer, Jimmy Yuen Hon-Wing, of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, said a US bomber flying out of Guangzhou had carried the bomb and that it must have landed on soft ground and failed to detonate.

"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," Yuen said.

Jackie Akhavan, professor of explosive chemistry at Cranfield University in Britain, said: "It would cause a huge amount of drama. It will cause fragments and a very large blast wave."

Most of the evacuated were from the Cosmo Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel on Queen's Road East next to the construction site for a new hotel, the Xinhua News Agency Building, Grand View Mansion, a Sikh temple and the AIA Building on Stubbs Road.

Tourist Anil Yildirim, who was staying at Cosmopolitan Hotel, was among the hundreds of evacuees.

"At first I was afraid. I thought 'it's a bomb', so we rushed upstairs for our bags. Now we're waiting for them to fix the problem," the 24-year-old visitor from Turkey said.

Additional reporting by Suzanne Sataline and Danny Lee



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This article is now closed to comments

Idiots - lethal blast radius is about 35m, 400m for fragmentation and would create a crater of greater than 15m. The casualty radius is much greater IN AN OPEN AREA. In this case the entire structure would then become secondary fragmentation debris and could fly as far as 1 mile. The MK 84 has thrown its own load out to two miles in an open area. The bomb is 45% explosive and 55% case/fragmentation material.
Call military EOD and they will defuse it.
I see other news sites followed up on the story with the dismantling/defusing of the bomb.
I am confused. If you don't move the bomb and you don't carry out a controlled explosion. what else can you do ?
There are many options. Probably the best is steaming out the explosive and then burning it in small quantities, so it does not explode. It takes time, but is the probably the safest option. Anyway, well done the brave Hong Kong Police officers who tackled this bomb.
Good decision to firstly run upstairs to collect your belongings
I live in the area and my balcony looks onto this site and they have stopped all traffic on Stubbs rd, Wong nai Chung rd and queens road east. Very quiet.…
How to defuse a WW2 Bomb :
You just need a DIY tool kit:. ( A German accent also helps!)
Pretty soon we'll have newer ones dropping in when Beijing and Japan decide to go at it. Enjoy peace while it lasts everyone!
Boom Boom!
OldPeak Toad
Compensation! Obama to apologize! Sanctions! Legco members who have not been in the media for the past month - this is your chance!


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