Conflicts & War

Singapore evacuates thousands to detonate WWII bomb

Singapore, Sep 26 (EFE).- Singapore authorities evacuated more than 4,000 residents of a central area of the island Tuesday to carry out the controlled detonation of a 100 kilogram bomb from World War II found on a construction site.

Evacuations began early in the day, affecting thousands of residents and their pets in the upper area of Bukit Timah, in the center of the island. They were displaced to a community space to wait for the specialized explosives squad to perform the operation.

“Loud noises can be expected during the controlled removal of war relics. The public is advised not to be alarmed and avoid the area,” Singapore Police said in the notification announcing the Tuesday detonation.

The bomb was unearthed last week on a plot of land where an apartment building was being built, in a residential area housing many of the schools in the city-state, with about 5.4 million inhabitants.

According to historians and experts consulted by The Straits Times, the bomb contained 47 kilograms of explosives, enough to destroy an apartment block, and was probably dropped during the Battle of Bukit Timah in February 1942, in the final stage of the fall of Singapore in the hands of Japan.

The bomb could have been dropped by a plane and penetrated the earth up to several meters deep, initially carrying a delay fuse to explode some time after impact, without having worked for various possible reasons.

Despite the passage of decades, the device could continue to be volatile, and Singapore authorities decided to detonate it in a controlled manner in the same place where it was found, given the risks involved in moving it.

This is not an isolated event on the island, occupied by Japan in February 1942, and the last World War II bomb found on its territory was in 2019, when a procedure similar to the current one was carried out. EFE


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