Hong Kong bomb experts deployed after unexploded bomb found

Police officers from explosive ordinance disposal arrive the scene in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Hong Kong police sealed off part of a busy downtown neighborhood on Wednesday after an unexploded bomb was found during construction work in the Asian financial center. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong bomb experts deployed after unexploded bomb found during construction work

HONG KONG — Hong Kong police sealed off part of a busy downtown neighborhood on Wednesday after an unexploded wartime bomb was found during construction work in the Asian financial center.

Explosive ordinance disposal officers deployed to the scene in the city's Wan Chai district were working to stabilize and defuse the bomb.

Police diverted traffic, while shops and offices in surrounding towers were shuttered for the rest of the day and ferry service at a nearby pier was halted.

Bomb disposal experts identified it as an American-made 1,000 pound general purpose bomb, the same type as one unearthed and defused just days earlier at the site for a cross-harbor commuter rail link.

"However, there are some additional challenges" this time, said bomb disposal officer Alick McWhirter. "The bomb is in dangerous condition. The fuse mechanism is severely damaged."

He added that the bomb's position made access difficult and the bomb disposal team was preparing to carry out stabilization and disposal operations overnight. Pictures on the Hong Kong police department's Facebook page showed the bomb embedded in the side of a slope.

Both bombs are believed to have been dropped by warplanes during World War II, when the then-British colony was the scene of fighting between Allied and Japanese occupation forces

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