WWI grenade found in pile of potatoes in HK

HONG KONG • Hong Kong police have 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, which was covered in a thick coat of dirt, among a batch of tubers during a potato-screening process early yesterday 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, Hong Kong's Chinese-language newspaper 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 03, 2019, with the headline 'WWI grenade found in pile of potatoes in HK'. Print Edition | Subscribe