HONG KONG: More than 2,000 people were evacuated and roads closed in central Hong Kong on Thursday after a World War II bomb weighing almost a tonne was discovered on a construction site, police said.
The giant US Navy bomb was found by workers in the upscale Happy Valley district — home to Hong Kong’s famous horse racing track.
An officer at the scene said bomb disposal experts would need several hours to remove the explosives from the bomb casing.
“If it went off accidentally it would cause serious damage. Buildings could collapse,” Yuen Hon-wing, a senior bomb disposal officer at the scene, told reporters.
“Residents in the area, including guests from hotels, have been evacuated. Some roads are temporarily closed,” a police spokeswoman told AFP.
The bomb weighs 2,000 pounds — over 900 kilogrammes — and measures more than five feet (1.7 metres) long, with a diameter of two feet (0.6 metres), police said.
It was found by construction site workers at around 3.40pm (0740 GMT) and 2,260 people were evacuated.
The former British colony was the scene of fierce fighting between invading Japanese forces and defending powers in December 1941.
A British shell was found and detonated in a controlled explosion at the Peak, one of the city’s prime tourist destinations and home to some of Hong Kong’s most expensive real estate, in November of last year.