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Japan construction crew sets off buried explosive

Japan construction crew sets off buried explosive

A powerful explosion shook a small Japanese town Wednesday morning when a construction crew accidentally set off what may have been an undetonated land mine from World War II.
The blast sent chunks of asphalt and concrete flying and shattered windows at a retirement home about 150 feet (30 meters) away. Local residents said it shook buildings in the area.
The operator of a power shovel that hit the explosive, 25-year old Jun Kohagura, was cut in the face by flying glass from the machine's front window, according to a police spokesman who asked to remain anonymous, citing department policy.
Police think the explosive, which was buried about three feet (one meter) deep, may have been a World War II-era land mine. The incident occurred around 8:20 a.m. local time in Itoman, on Japan's southernmost island of Okinawa.
Okinawa was the scene of fierce battles between U.S. and Japanese troops in the final phases of World War II.
Local officials estimate there are still 2,500 tons of mines, rockets and other explosives on islands in the area. About 1,500 tons have been disposed of since the end of the war in 1945.


Updated : 2021-07-25 18:48 GMT+08:00