Discovery of more WWII bombs delays plans for disposal

Discovery of more WWII bombs delays plans for disposal

The governor of Ratchaburi province is warning people to stay well clear of the buoys marking the positions of seven WWII bombs found in the Mae Klong River near Chulalongkorn railway bridge.(Photo by Saichol Ochkajon)
The governor of Ratchaburi province is warning people to stay well clear of the buoys marking the positions of seven WWII bombs found in the Mae Klong River near Chulalongkorn railway bridge.(Photo by Saichol Ochkajon)

RATCHABURI: Another four WWII bombs have been discovered in the Mae Klong River near Chulalongkorn railway bridge, raising the total to seven and necessitating a careful revision of the plan to dispose of them.

Boats, jet ski riders and New Year revellers are being warned stay well away from the seven buoys on the river marking their positions. 

Ratchaburi governor Chayawut Jantorn said on Monday the discovery of the additional munitions meant  their disposal could not be completed before the New Year, as earlier planned.

The military was awaiting advice on their disposal from Britain, where these bombs were manufactured, and Germany, which had experience disposing of them during and after WWII, the governor said.

Earlier, the army had planned to lift the bombs from the riverbed and take them away for destruction elsewhere. Given the number of bombs now known to be there, this was considered too risky. So another plan would have to be prepared.

This could involve defusing them in the river, either with or without moving them from their present locations, Mr Chayawut said.

A New Year countdown was planned there, and a light and sound show from Jan 18-20. However, the bombs would be safe for these events as long as people stayed well clear of them, the Ratchaburi governor said.

For the past month divers have been searching the riverbed, looking for unexploded WWII munitions, to ensure the area is safe for the construction of a parallel railway bridge, part of the double-track project being built through there.


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