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Krabi villagers want decades-old torpedo removed

Villagers in Krabi's Nua Khlong district yesterday clamoured for authorities to haul off a live pre-World War II torpedo that was found floating in the sea.

They said they were afraid the device, which could destroy an area in the range of 5 kilometres, might explode because of exposure to the heat.

Ban Koh Jam fishermen in tambon Koh Sriboya had discovered the 400-by-50-centimetre cylinder floating between Koh Cham and Koh Phi Phi on Tuesday.

They dragged it back to shore with the aim of dismantling it and selling the pieces to a junk shop, but were stopped by officials.

A bomb-disposal source said this weapon was made in Japan in 1937 and Thailand bought it for Bt10,000 to use during wartime.

Pol Sr Sgt-Major Siwadol Yodmuen, an inspector at Khlong Khanan Police Station, said an ordnance-disposal team from the Third Naval Area Command in Phuket had been contacted to inspect the torpedo later in the day, where it was kept in a sealed-off area at Mutu Pier.


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