HONG KONG, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,000 people were evacuated after a World War II bomb was found by construction workers who were digging an underground hotel structure near the Cosmo Hotel in Happy Valley on the Hong Kong Island on Thursday.
The 2,000-pound bomb is the largest unexploded World War II-era device unearthed in Hong Kong, local police said.
Yuen Hongwing, senior bomb disposal officer of the Hong Kong Police Force, said that initial investigations indicated that the bomb was left by the U.S. armed forces when they were bombing Japanese military facilities during World War II.
Containing 1,000 pounds of TNT, the bomb is 67 inches long with a diameter of 24 inches. "If it is not properly handled, the powerful bomb may badly damage nearby buildings and Queen's Road East," Yuen said.
More than 1,000 people within 500 meters of the place were the bomb was found at around 3:45 p.m. local time, most of them visitors in the two hotels nearby had been evacuated by 9:00 in the evening.
The bomb disposal squad will pile up sand bags around the bomb to cushion blast in case it explodes, and adopt cryogenic method to cut the bomb for taking out the explosive before moving the bomb to safe place, according to a policeman surnamed Wong.
Kate Froster, a nearby resident, told Xinhua that she isn't afraid as she has heard of similar cases before. She also hoped that no one would be hurt while dealing with the bomb.
Japanese invaders occupied Hong Kong from late 1941 to August 1945, and World War II bombs have been discovered in the island since the end of the war.