HONG KONG – Hong Kong police defused on Thursday a 450-kilogram (992-pound) World War II-era bomb, triggering the evacuation of more than 4,000 people for over 15 hours.
The bomb – the second to be recovered from the same area in the last four days – was discovered under the ground by workers at a construction site in the commercial and financial district of Wanchai early Wednesday.
The discovery of the bomb led to police deployment on the site for 24 hours and buildings and commercial establishments in the neighborhood were evacuated.
Several shops, hotels, schools and offices and several roads, and some cross-harbor ferry services to Victoria Harbor were also suspended.
Early Thursday, the explosive ordnance disposal teams managed to defuse the bomb, a task that lasted hours as the bomb was in a poor condition, according to experts.
The bomb was found a mere 10 meters away from the spot where another bomb of the same model and same weight was discovered on Jan. 27, which had also prompted a mass evacuation.
Discovery of bombs or unexploded grenades is common in Hong Kong, given that the city was the stage of fighting between the Japanese Army, which seized the territory for almost four years, and British and American allied forces between 1941-1945.
In 2014, the police defused a WWII bomb that weighed nearly a ton, the largest ever found in the city so far.