MIRI: More than 750 residents in Lutong were evacuated from their homes yesterday as a demotion squad detonated a bomb found in a construction site near a school.
Eleven experts from Bukit Aman, Kuching and Miri were involved in the operation to detonate the bomb weighing about 500kg, possibly the biggest found in the state so far.
The explosive device, believed to be a relic of the Second World War, was found by workers at the construction site last Friday.
The operation was divided into two phases to ensure the huge bomb was demolished safely.
Prior to the detonation, the police advised villagers from Kampung Api and Kampung Pasir squatter colonies and residents from nearby areas to evacuate from their homes for safety reasons.
The villagers and residents moved out as early as 7am and some of them were placed at the school hall.
The authority also sealed off the roads to the area.
The police dug two holes, each 12 feet deep, before igniting an explosion to detonate the bomb at 2.45pm followed by a second blast at 5.10pm.
By 6pm, all the villagers and residents have returned to their homes.
Present to witness the operation were Pujut assemblyman Andy Chia, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Public Service and Complaint Bureau chairman councillor Koh Ek Chong and Sebastian Ting, who is political secretary to the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Peter Chin.
SUPP provided drinks and snacks to residents taking shelter at the school hall.
Chia commended the quick and smooth operation carried out by the police to ensure the safety of residents.