Hong Kong police defuse WWII bomb

Authorities evacuate nearly 1,500 people

By YULI YANG, BRAD LENDON AND DAKIN ANDONE, CNN
Headline Goes Here HONG KONG POLICE via CNN

A nearly 1,000-pound World War II explosive prompted the evacuation of approximately 1,500 people in Hong Kong.

HONG KONG (CNN) - Hong Kong authorities successfully defused a newly unearthed World War II-era bomb on Sunday, according to police.

The 450-kg (992 lb.) explosive was discovered during construction near the Hong Kong Convention Center on Saturday, Hong Kong police said on their official Facebook page. It was described as being 145 centimeters (nearly 5 feet) long, 45 centimeters (1.5 feet) wide and was believed to be American in origin.

The discovery of the bomb prompted authorities to evacuate approximately 1,500 people in the Wan Chai neighborhood of the city, police said. Multiple roads were closed as officials with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau worked to safely defuse the device.

On Sunday afternoon, police announced on their Facebook page that the disposal squad had "safely handled" the bomb, and the areas previously closed off were reopened.

According to U.S. military archives, the U.S. Army Air Corps began the bombing of Hong Kong in the fall of 1942, striking the city dozens of times. Most of those air raids were carried out by B-24 and B-25 bombers, the former of which could carry up to 8,000 pounds of bombs.

Similar World War II explosives have been discovered in Germany in the past several years. Last September, nearly 60,000 people were evacuated from Frankfurt as authorities defused a 1.4-ton British bomb. And in May of last year more than 50,000 people were evacuated from Hanover when two bombs from World War II were found during a construction project.

On Christmas Day in 2016, 50,000 people were evacuated from Augsburg in south Germany after a 1.8-ton bomb was found underneath an underground parking garage.

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