Suspected Chinese naval mine found on offshore islet of Taiwan

Uninhabited islet closed off after mysterious object resembling explosive discovered during beach cleanup

Suspected underwater mine found on Penghu County's Chutou Islet. 

Suspected underwater mine found on Penghu County's Chutou Islet.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An object suspected to be an old Chinese naval mine was found during a beach cleanup on the uninhabited Chutou Islet (鋤頭嶼) in Taiwan's offshore Penghu County last week, and military staff have been sent to handle the matter.

The Penghu Defense Command (PDC) said Sunday (Sept. 20) that the object was discovered by civilians during a beach cleanup commissioned by the Marine National Park Headquarters on Friday (Sept. 18). It said members of the group had not touched the rusty oval object for fear it would explode.

The PDC said a special bomb disposal unit has been sent to the scene but that the unidentified object does not appear to be a standard weapon used by Taiwanese forces. It said the explosive closely resembles a Chinese underwater mine, and the military is considering detonating it in nearby waters, reported Liberty Times.

In a press release on Monday (Sept. 21), the Marine National Park Headquarters pointed out that Chutou Islet has been closed off due to the potentially dangerous object. It urged the public to avoid travel to the islet and surrounding areas for the time being, reported CNA.

Chutou Islet (Penghu County Government photo)