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10 unexploded bombs found in Sabah and Sarawak over the past 10 years

What would you do if you stumbled upon unexploded bomb in your backyard? Well, the best and only thing to do is to call the police.

Here in East Malaysia, discoveries of unexploded bombs have been reported from time to time. In most cases, these unexploded bombs were discovered by construction workers.

Additionally, a number of them were from the World War II (WWII) era. Beyond this, there are little details on whose bombs they were. Did most of them belong to Japanese or Allied forces?

Nonetheless, here 10 reports of unexploded bombs found in Sabah and Sarawak over the past 10 years:

1.Sandakan (Mar 31, 2010)

A WWII bomb was found in the compound of a driving school in Sandakan, Sabah. An excavator operator found it accidentally when digging a drain.

The authority immediately cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit from Kota Kinabalu flew in to defuse it.

2.Kuching (Apr 26, 2018)

We bet that when this grass cutter showed up for work on the morning of Apr 26 this year, the last thing he thought he would find was an unexploded bomb.

He found it in a drain near Kampung Sungai Bedil Besar, Kuching. After examination, the bomb was reported to be an unexploded ordnance (UXO) which is used for training.

3.Lahad Datu (Aug 20, 2018)

Unlike most unexploded bombs on this list, this one was launched quite recently. It was used during Ops Daulat when the 2013 Lahad Datu military standoff occurred.

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The bomb belonged to the Malaysian Armed Forces and was believed to have not exploded during the battle against the Royal Sulu Army.

A plantation worker found it in the early morn of Aug 20 at Ladang Sahabat 17 Plantation.

4. Tawau (June 23, 2014)

While carrying excavation work to build a specialist medical centre, a group of construction workers found a remnant of World War II at the site.

The police bomb unit then immediately detonated the bomb. Reportedly, it was the first time such unexploded bomb was found in Tawau. The authority believed there could still be many bombs that have yet to be found.

5.Sandakan (July 28, 2017)

Can you imagine stumbling upon a 250kg bomb in your daily work? That happened when a construction worker carrying out excavation work at the Road Transport Department building, Sandakan.

And the scariest part? The 130cm long bomb, a remnant from World War II, was still active.

Authorities believed that it was possible for bombs to be found in Sandakan as the area was attacked during WWII.

6.Sarikei (Apr 24, 2018)

There can be a lot of things you can find if you start to dig the earth for something. The most common thing you would find are earthworms.

Meanwhile in Sarikei a man dug up an exploded WWII bomb near Tanjung Manis Fisheries port when digging the ground for scrap metal.

7.Sibu (Dec 28, 2013)

How many bags of sand are used to detonate a bomb? In this case, it took 50 bags of sand piled over the bomb before it was detonated an hour later.

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Oil palm plantation workers found the unexploded bomb in Sungai Assan on an afternoon while working at the site.

8.Miri (Dec 7, 2014)

Watch out when trying to dig a hole to plant something, you might find a bomb instead.

A man in Miri was digging a hole near his house to grow coconut trees. Instead, he found a 5kg bomb measuring 38cm long and 11cm in diameter from WWII.

9.Bau (Mar 9, 2013)

Here is a bomb used during the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation. A villager in Bau came across it near his farm.

According to authorities, the 65-mm gauge mortar remained active all this time.

And this was not the first time a bomb has been found in the district.

10.Sarikei (Dec 16, 2018)

This is the latest bomb finding incident in Sarawak. A WWII bomb which was still active was found in Ulu Kedup, Sarikei.

A man found it while cleaning up the river afterbridge repair work.

Do you have any old stories about finding relics from WWII? Let us know in the comment box. 

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.
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