School rejects link after two high-explosive bombs defused

Top News | Angel Kwan 11 Dec 2019

Wah Yan College says there is no evidence linking the two homemade bombs found at the school to its students and staff.

Bomb disposal officers defused the incendiary devices - which they said could kill or maim - found on Monday at the school in Wan Chai. They contained 10 kilograms of high explosives and nails.

Ballistic officers, meanwhile, are examining a "powerful" air pistol allegedly seized from a 22-year-old jobless man during a stop and search at Lucky Plaza, Sha Tin, at about 1.30pm yesterday.

Officers seized at least 15 rounds of iron pellets, a laser pen and a mask. They escorted the man to his home at Shek Mun Estate, Sha Tin, where they conducted a search. It was not immediately known if other weapons were found.

Police sources believed Wah Yan College is not the target of the bombs, which might have been placed there temporarily. The location is near a flat where police seized bulletproof vests during an operation on Sunday.

Police are investigating whether the bombs and the Glock pistol found on Sunday are linked.

Regarding the gun, officers believe the suspects had wanted to wreak havoc during the march organized by the Civil Human Rights Front. And the bombs could have been left unused after their arrest, they added.

Wah Yan College said: "The site where the bombs were found belongs to the school, but it is located outside the school's gate and is reachable by the public.

"There is no evidence showing that the incident is linked with any student or teaching staff of our school."

It said the school will fully cooperate with the police investigation.

Assistant supervisor So Ying-lun said the site may not be covered by the school's CCTV system. He said he was shocked and worried, but the incident should not be easily linked to anyone or any social incident.

"Police closed off nearby roads [on Monday] night and conducted a thorough inspection. They lifted the cordon before midnight so we believe the campus is safe," So said.

A father surnamed Hon, who drove his son to school, said it issued an online notice on Monday night that classes and exams would be held as usual the next day. "It should be safe," he said.

A Secondary Five student, Hui, said he knew about the incident from news reports, adding he and his parents were concerned. "But the school told us to come back, so I think it's safe. My parents told me to be careful," he said.

The bombs were spotted by a school cleaner on the grounds of the Gordon Wu Hall late in the afternoon.

Bomb disposal officer Alick McWhirter said they were "complete, fully functional" radio-controlled improvised explosive devices that can kill or maim.

The bombs had a range of 50 to 100 meters. Senior superintendent Li Kwai-wah of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau said each bomb was made up of two plastic drain baskets wrapped with cling film, and contains highly explosive HMTD and aluminium nitrate powder. Each bomb had a mobile phone attached, connected to a circuit board. Li said the phones could be used to detonate the bombs.

On Sunday, police arrested 11 people and seized weapons, including the Glock, with officers saying that these were meant to "create chaos" during the march.

angel.kwan@singtaonewscorp.com

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