Yesterday morning (8 August) a war relic found in a land reclamation project in Changi Coast was finally assessed by experts to be safe to handle. A private firm will now be able to dispose of the unexploded 2m-long ordnance.
It was said that the projectile have been carried over from Vietnam, while supplying sand to the area. It was found on board the vessel KNB 1, a delivery barge that loads sand from another vessel before discharging it at the reclamation site.
The vessel was carrying the sand for the land reclamation project for a new port terminal in Tuas.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Police Coast Guard were alerted to the incident on 18 July. “A safety zone was immediately established around the site of the barge,” MPA said
The green light for removing the war relic given yesterday means relief could come soon for the crew of the barge, who have been on board for the past three weeks.
The Straits Times reported that Weapons and equipment editor Kelvin Wong of military publication IHS Jane’s said that typical procedure in such incident would be to clear civilians from the immediate area around the unexploded ordnance.
He said: “While the authorities may have ascertained that the bomb is a dud, safety protocols would likely require the evacuation of civilians from the area, especially if the disposal experts are in the process of disarming or removing the weapon.”
He said that if the bomb was from the Vietnam War, it was likely to be a free-fall explosive. Such bombs are usually triggered by a fuse, timer or by impact.