Singapore police said a 100 kg World War II aerial bomb recovered recently was detonated safely on Tuesday in Upper Bukit Timah, a jungle reserve during the war. More than 4,000 residents in the area, now a suburban housing estate, are set to return home later on Tuesday for the authority’s decision to evacuate them this morning for safety reasons.
Following two controlled detonations in the afternoon, the authorities are carrying out safety checks in the area, Channel News Asia reported. The 100 kg WWII aerial bomb was unearthed last week at the work site of an upcoming condominium estate near a metro station.
The two blasts took place at about 12.30 pm and 1.45 pm, the latter of which could be heard from as far as Senja-Cashew Community Club-- about two kilometres away from the site.
Sandbags and dirt were seen spewing out from the area surrounded by concrete blocks due to the impact of the explosion, according to the Channel report.
Police assessing the aftermath of the blast
Following the two blasts, the authorities are assessing the construction site, roads, meant drains and pipelines, as well as the evacuated buildings for structural safety, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a statement on Facebook.
Residents at the nearby public housing estate of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and condominium blocks were told to leave their windows open and shut off the electricity in their units. Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is a member of parliament representing the Cashew ward in the Holland-Bukit Timah constituency, visited the community club at about 10 a.m.
“We thought it’s better to over-prepare than to under-prepare,” he said.
The last reported incident of unexploded World War II ammunition was in 2019, when a 50 kg aerial bomb was found at Jiak Kim Street in the River Valley suburb area, also during excavation works at a construction site.
In 2016, the Singapore Armed Forces’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit also disposed of a 100 kg war relic found at a construction site in Mandai, which during the war was another forest reserve area.
(With inputs from agency)