World War II relic found in tree near Outram Park MRT station

A group of workers resting against a tree near Outram Park MRT Station on Thursday, June 5, 2014, evening were admiring its peculiar heart-shaped stump when something else caught their attention. -- PHOTO: SAF
A group of workers resting against a tree near Outram Park MRT Station on Thursday, June 5, 2014, evening were admiring its peculiar heart-shaped stump when something else caught their attention. -- PHOTO: SAF

SINGAPORE - A group of workers resting against a tree near Outram Park MRT Station on Thursday evening were admiring its peculiar heart-shaped stump when something else caught their attention.

Nestled in a crevice between two of the tree's branches was what would later be identified as a World War II hand grenade.

The workers alerted the police at about 5pm, and the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team was subsequently activated to conduct investigations.

Working through the night, the EOD team managed to remove the relic from the tree and safely disposed of it at about 12.45am on Thursday - some seven hours later.

Throughout their work, a police security cordon kept the area free from curious passers-by, and a police spokesman said no danger was posed to the public in the process of the grenade's extraction and destruction.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the SAF put up pictures of the grenade's discovery and thanked the EOD team for keeping Singapore safe.

War relics have been found from time to time around Singapore, typically within construction areas.

The last reported discoveries were in January, when empty World War II bomb cases that were free of explosive contents were uncovered in a construction site near Tampines.

Two years ago, a World War II bomb was found at the junction of Lorong 22 and Guillemard Road in September.

Between March and April that same year, around 50 other relics were dug up in East Coast Terrace and East Coast Drive.

hpeishan@sph.com.sg