Hot weather is suspected to have caused a piece of unexploded World War Two ordnance to begin emitting smoke in a residential backyard in Danshui District, New Taipei City yesterday, July 16.
At around 5:00pm, the 56-year-old owner of the house called 119 after finding a bomb embedded beside a path on a slope behind the house emitting a pall of white smoke.
Firefighters evacuated nearby residents and cordoned off an area to a radius of 90 meters around the 90-centimeter-long shell.
A military bomb disposal team identified the object as an American white phosphorus bomb, probably dropped during an air-raid during the Second World War. When exposed to air, the phosphorus can ignite at a temperature of between 20 and 30 °C. Ignited white phosphorus cannot be extinguished with water and burns up to 1,300°C, causing severe burns.
It is suspected that the bomb may have become exposed after recent heavy rains.
The bomb disposal squad took the ordnance away at around 9:00pm.
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