Dirt-crusted WWI grenade found among potatoes in Calbee Hong Kong snack factory

HONG KONG - Hong Kong police on Saturday (Feb 2) defused a World War I hand grenade that was found hidden in a pile of potatoes at a potato chip factory owned by popular Japanese snack maker Calbee.

It was reported that a worker picked up the device that was covered in a thick coat of dirt in a batch of tubers during a potato screening process early in the morning.

The undetonated weapon was taken to the security office and police were called in for help at the factory in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, Ming Pao reported.

The grenade was defused around three hours later by the bomb disposal squad about a metre underground within the plant compound.

Tseung Kwan O assistant district commander (Operations), Mr Wong Ho Hon, told reporters the grenade weighed 1kg and measured 80mm in width.

He added that the German-made device was thrown during World War I but did not explode then.

Police have ruled out criminal activity as they believe the dirt-crusted grenade had ended up in Hong Kong in a shipment of potatoes from France.