TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Navy divers on Thursday (July 30) detonated 13 unexploded bombs recently found off the coast of New Taipei in dramatic fashion.
On July 20, 13 unexploded bombs, possibly dating back to WWII, were discovered at Mao'ao Bay (卯澳灣) in New Taipei's Gongliao District by a diving instructor on July 20, only 100 meters from Fulian Elementary school at a depth of between 10 and 13 meters. A meeting of government agencies concluded that the safest way to remove the bombs was to detonate them on site.
At 5 a.m. on Thursday, divers from the Navy Underwater Operations Unit arrived at the bay to begin preparations to destroy all 13 unexploded bombs simultaneously. After the installation of detonators, detonating cords, receivers, and other equipment was completed, the detonating device was connected at 10 a.m., according to the Military News Agency (MNA).
By 10:15 a.m. the countdown started as divers prepared to detonate the bombs via a remote control device from the shore. When the 13 bombs went off, a rumbling sound could be heard across the bay before a massive tower of water erupted approximately 20 meters in the air.
According to military estimates, each of the bombs weighed around 230 pounds and after careful calculations, a total of more than 1,300 kilograms of M1 military dynamite had to be used. Fulian Borough Chief Wu Wen-i (吳文益) expressed gratitude to the divers for carrying out the dangerous task of clearing the unexploded ordinance to ensure the safety of local residents.
Wu told CNA that a local 85-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) said that during WWII, Japanese troops were positioned in Mao'ao Bay to evade bombing by U.S. forces. However, they were pursued and attacked by the U.S. military and he believes the bombs were a vestige of that incident.