Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Huge WWII bomb goes bang

Huge WWII bomb goes bang

Huge WWII bomb goes bang

AN explosive ordinance disposal team detonated the largest bomb ever found in Cambodia

on Wednesday. The 2,000 pound device was probably dropped by American forces in 1943

in a raid against Japanese naval operations according to Cambodian Mines Action Center

(CMAC) officials.

Workers at a brick factory thought that they had hit a rock when they were digging

for clay in the bottom of a pond at Km 6 of Route 5. When they told a Cambodian reporter

that they had encountered a large metal object, he contacted CMAC to investigate.

If the bomb had detonated, the supply of Coca-Cola in the country could have been

affected. The bottling plant was within the device's blast range of 800 meters, according

to CMAC explosive-ordinance demolition officer Hang Vannara.

The device was moved May 9 to the CMAC training center in Korb Srov for disposal.

The device was reportedly safe when moved. "The most dangerous types are spring-loaded

or are motion-sensitive bombs," Vannara says. "This one was equipped with

impact fuses only in the nose and tail sections. The tail fuse was broken off already

and we covered the nose with plaster of Paris just to be sure."

"It is bigger than anything dropped by the Americans in the 1970s," says

CMAC information officer John Brown. "Most of the bombs dropped by B52s were

500 and 750 pounders."

Not only have explosive ordinance disposal experts concluded that it was American,

attachments to it indicate that it was dropped by an American aircraft, most likely

a B-29 bomber.

Technically the device is called a "General Purpose Bomb" according explosive-ordinance

recognition manuals. The 1.8 by .6 meter device held 578 kg of TNT.

The disposal team buried the device under four meters of sand and attached about

four pounds of C4 explosive to it. Officials were frank about not knowing how big

or loud the explosion would be. "I was worried about the noise and the danger

of the explosion, but the technical experts assured me that the impact radius would

only reach about 200 meters," says CMAC chief of staff Phan Sothy. "We

told the [local authorities] to expect a very loud noise."

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the