14 September 2008

WWII bomb near my home


Sometime this month last year, a bomb was unearthed accidently by workers in a construction yard, not far from my apartment.

Full story after the cut. (Top image via James Lo)

It all happened on an ordinary weekday. Just when I've decided to go out for a stroll, police came right to me and asked me to evacuate the area.

I had no idea what they were on about at that moment.

It was soon revealed that a group of workers have unearthed a Japanese World War Two era bomb in a construction site, no more than 50 metres away from my apartment. One of the policemen misinformed me that it was an unstable 1000lb bomb (~450kg), but the bomb disposal expert explained later in the news that it was actually a 400lb bomb (~180kg), and it had to be detonated with great care as it was rather unstable. Well, that policeman did get the 'unstable' status right.

Different kinds of vehicles rushed into the scene: bomb disposal vehicles, police vans, motorbikes, and fire engines. All residents in nearby appartments had to be evacuated, and my appartment was one of the closest in the vicinity. Despite the apparent threat, I got one of the closest view of the situation from above before I evacuated.

On the right, dozens of sandbags were piled on top of the bomb to minimise the impact of the explosion. Bomb disposal personnel and firemen could be seen working together in the site.

On the left, 4 police vans were parked near the site to keep things in order. That road had to be blocked until the completion of the bomb disposal.
The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) uses mostly vans as their main patrol vehicles. It's quite a rare sight to see a police car.

The bomb had to be detonated twice; first time to remove the outer case of the bomb, and second time to detonate the bomb itself. I wasn't there to take a photo of the bomb exploding for obvious reasons, but I have managed to snatch one from a local news website, of which the original url is now long lost. It's not easy to find links and articles relating to this event anymore.


Hong Kong was invaded by Imperial Japanese Army in December 1941. Although it has been more than 60 years since the end of the war, news of unearthed bombs and ammunitions can still be heard infrequently to this day. Does your region still have scars and objects left over from previous wars?

Image of Japanese soldiers attacking a powerplant in Hong Kong from Wikipedia


  1. I live in Singapore, so we kinda have the 1942 experience with them. But well, I guess the past is the past. I don't think we have bombs here though.... Just some "history" we did in school about the WWII. I hate history -_-

  2. Bombs are quite frequently found on construction sites over here and if you look close in the woods you still find bomb holes and Ditches thy digged back in WWII

    I guess that meant no school/work for you that day?

  3. i remember an old war time bomb was discovered in Singapore as well few years back. but instead of detonating it on the spot, it was shipped to somewhere safe and detonated there.

  4. That's pretty scary but at least nothing happened ^^

  5. wow scary !

    lots of bombs and explosives from the wars in France and accidents happen sometimes ... i know a place where there is grenades parts and bombs parts ... now i don't go there anymore because it's too dangerous ^^

  6. Quite a scary thought, having a bomb right next to your house. Glad that nothing bad happened.

    Since no bombs have been dropped onto the US, it's probably safe to say that I won't find something scary in my backyard. I hope.

  7. Interesting, scary and somewhat exciting post ^^
    I enjoy reading about military paraphernalia but, it's also a time to feel sad about the reality of war.
    Seems like you have managed to keep calm during your experience, despite the possibility of danger, excitement perhaps?
    I don't think we have any bombshells or the like here but, I do know that there are old documents and buildings used during certain wars that are still intact.

  8. Glad ur still in one piece. It's kind of a scary thought when u are about to walk into a bomb zone. @_@

  9. wt?!!
    Bomb again...haha...how many bombs surround you...?
    btw when are u coming bk...?

  10. Scary indeed, but I'm very glad to read that you and your neighbors are unharmed!

  11. @ zenical:
    Haha I like your reference to 1942, be it the arcade shooter or Battlefield game. I suppose it's lucky that you haven't experienced anything nasty from the war so far (besides from history lessons >_<).

    @ Blowfish:
    Germany has been a warzone for two world wars so I understand your situation. One told me that the Ruhr region still has a lot of them even to this day.

    I was at home that day because I was taking some time with my grandparents. They were really calm about it so things went very smoothly.

    @ gordon:
    That's interesting. Most duds here are to be destroyed at the location. I guess the one you mentioned could have been an unfused one? :o

    @ Saku:
    It was quite a scare to the public indeed but luckily things went very smoothly.

    @ James:
    I heard that areas such as Ardennes is still somewhat dangerous in France. Have they sent anyone for bomb disposal in your area?

    @ Orange:
    It was quite unexpected for me as I see some people were panicking on the streets, but the police did a good job on keepings things in order and assuring that it would be over in the safest matter.

    @ suki:
    I'm actually quite a military otaku on one side, so I didn't find it too shocking to anticipate :P . Although I really like the weaponry, the cruel reality of the WWII is not something to be ignored.

    @ Optic:
    Don't worry. ^^ Despite being hit by war in the past, Hong Kong is not as dangerous as one would have thought.

  12. @ Ray Li:
    That bomb scare occurred last year, and I haven't heard anymore since then. They should be getting rarer now.

    Just found a short article of it from China Post:

    Will ping you later on when I'm going back.

    @ Apt-1B:
    Thanks! I hope there won't be more in the near future.


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