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Hong Kong: How a 1,000-Pound WWII Bomb was Pulled Out of the Ground Without Exploding


Alex Horton reports: Police and explosive ordnance disposal technicians removed a 1,000-pound bomb that failed to explode during World War II but that successfully brought traffic to a standstill Wednesday in a bustling Hong Kong neighborhood. It was the second bomb discovered in the area just this week.

Untold millions of explosives have been sown into the ground in just about every conflict since the Civil War, lurking under the feet of the descendants of those who dropped bombs from airplanes, hurled cannonballs, buried land mines or fired artillery. They represent perhaps the most dangerous and enduring connective tissue between history and the present.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

The particular bomb found in Hong Kong, a U.S.-made AN-M65, salted the earth in one of the Allied bombing campaigns against Imperial Japanese troops that occupied the region during the war.


A view of the defused World War II bomb removed from a construction site in Hong Kong. (JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

It works like this: An aircraft releases the bomb, a fan on the tail and nose whir in the air, turning a number of times until the fuse is primed, which detonates a small charge to set off the explosive power of the main charge.

That did not happen in this case of a dud. Seven decades after it was dropped, the discovery of the bomb by a construction crew sparked a mass evacuation of as many as 4,000 people as ordnance disposal experts worked overnight to safely remove the bomb in a “dirty, difficult and dangerous” operation, the BBC reported.

Leftover explosives constitute “an enormous problem” across the world, said Brian Castner, a former Air Force officer who wrote the books “The Long Walk” and “All the Ways We Kill and Die” after his two tours in Iraq.

“The only way to solve it is one by one, bomb by bomb.” … (read more)

via The Washington Post

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