Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:41PM
A member of Honk Kong’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau is seen clearing around the 225-kilogram bomb from the World War II discovered near the University of Hong Kong, on January 23, 2017. (Photo by HKFP)
A member of Honk Kong’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau is seen clearing around the 225-kilogram bomb from the World War II discovered near the University of Hong Kong, on January 23, 2017. (Photo by HKFP)

Authorities in Hong Kong have been forced to relocate dozens of people to safe places after a US-made bomb, dating from World War II, was discovered in the vicinity of a university campus and staff quarters, local media report.

The 225-kilogram bomb was found on Monday morning by workers carrying out excavation on a construction site on Pok Fu Lam Road near Middleton Towers, a residence hall for the staff at the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Free Press online daily reported.

The unexpected discovery prompted the police to relocate 59 residents of the 72-unit dormitory to Lei Tung Community Hall and order a temporary bus stop suspension along the road. They also evacuated at least 30 construction workers from the area.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau said that it was studying whether to carry out a controlled explosion on the site or detonate the huge bomb in another location.

Unexploded wartime bombs or grenades are often discovered by hikers or construction workers in Hong Kong, which experienced heavy fighting between Japanese troops, belonging to the Axis forces, and the British army, belonging to the Allies, in 1941. The United States and allied air forces bombarded the Japanese forces in the region after the then-UK colony fell.

Last year, Hong Kong police defused eight explosive devices discovered by a hiker, and in 2014, they had to evacuate over 22,00 people from an area where a one-ton wartime bomb was found, the largest explosive device yet discovered in the southern Chinese city so far.