Hong Kong workers and residents evacuated after discovery of wartime bomb

A police bomb disposal team was still working to dismantle the US-made device on Monday afternoon

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 January, 2017, 4:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 January, 2017, 10:46pm

A 220kg unexploded US wartime bomb was unearthed on a construction site in Pok Fu Lam Monday morning, prompting the evacuation of dozens of people from the site and nearby flats.

Senior bomb disposal officer Tony Chow Shek-kin believed the airdrop bomb – model AN-64 – contained about 120kg of TNT explosives, and would be defused by about 11pm.

He said police had to cut holes in the bomb casing before destroying the explosives inside – the process would take about three hours. Earlier, officers took about eight hours to do protective work around the site, using sandbags.

“If the bomb explodes, fragments could fly as far as 2,000 metres,” he said, adding that the radius of affected area had been reduced to 400 metres.

Chow said the bomb had been dropped on Hong Kong during the second world war between 1941 and 1945.

Emergency crews were called to the site when workers found the bomb shortly after 10am. More than 30 construction workers and dozens of University of Hong Kong staff and their relatives, living in three blocks of flats in Middleton Towers nearby, were evacuated.

Coaches had been arranged to transport them to the Lei Tung Community Hall in Ap Lei Chau.

Superintendent Wong Kei-wai, said that the section of Pok Fu Lam Road would be closed from 7.30pm as bomb disposal officers defused the bomb. He asked nearby residents to stay away from windows.