Workers try to cut up bomb, 7 killed in blast

19:27, Apr 02 2014
Bangkok explosion
FATAL DECISION: Thai firefighters and rescue crews work amongst debris after the explosion. Scrap metal workers were attempting to cut open a 200kg bomb when it detonated.

Workers at a scrap shop in Thailand's capital accidentally detonated a large bomb believed to have been dropped during World War II, killing at least seven people and injuring 19 others, police said.

Police bomb squad chief Kamthorn Auicharoen said construction workers found the bomb buried at a building site and sold it to the scrap shop in northern Bangkok. He said workers at the shop were using a gas-powered thermal cutter to take the bomb apart when it exploded on Wednesday.

The massive blast ripped apart the scrap shop in Bangkok's Lad Plakao neighbourhood and damaged nearby houses.

"It's likely this is a bomb dropped from a plane during World War II," Kamthorn said.

It was thought to have weighed more than 200kgs.

Construction workers on another project found a similar bomb in a different area of Bangkok on Saturday, but it was safely handed over to police explosive experts.

Bangkok was bombed by US and British planes during World War II, when it was occupied by Japanese forces and served as a hub for their campaign in Southeast Asian. Buried bombs from the era continue to be found from time to time in other major Asian cities, including Hong Kong and Singapore.

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AP