Half-Tonne Naval Mine Blown Up Underwater

This is the moment Chinese officials detonate a half-tonne naval mine left behind from World War II after leaving it untouched for decades directly beneath a busy shipping lane.

Authorities in the coastal town of Gulei, in Zhangzhou in East China’s Fujian Province, used 1.5 tonnes of explosives to set off the 490-kilogramme (1,080 lb) deep-sea mine on 13th May.

A special rig made of metal pipes was constructed 23 metres (75 feet) beneath the waves, with bags of explosives fastened to it in order to prevent them from being swept away.

Credit: AsiaWire / Gulei PSB

Following a countdown, footage shows the mine being set off in a large blast, creating a wave some 100 feet high.

The explosive device measuring 1.5 metres (5 feet) long is thought to have been strategically placed in the South China Sea by the Chinese navy some 80 years ago during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 to 1945), according to demolition coordinator Zhao Yong.

Mr Zhao said the naval mine would have been used to prevent Japanese troops from landing in the coastal province.

Credit: AsiaWire / Gulei PSB
Explosives used to destroy the World War II naval mine

The bomb might have been left underwater were it not for increased traffic on the sea lane leading to Gulou Town, which has in recent years welcomed more and more cargo and cruise vessels

He explained: “We’ve destroyed many naval mines over the years, but there are two main reasons why several are left untouched.

“Firstly, it is a very difficult process. Secondly, it is a very costly job.”

Officials approved the demolition work after the naval mine was seen as a potential ‘obstacle’ to the increasingly busy waterway, reports said.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: John FengSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency: Asia Wire Report

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