HONG KONG  - Hong Kong police on Tuesday evacuated scores of people from homes and offices after an unexploded World War II-era bomb was discovered at a construction site. Workers found the British artillery shell near a busy road in the Fortress Hill neighbourhood, and a police bomb disposal squad was called to the scene, a police officer told reporters. The motorway was closed and around 200 people were evacuated from nearby buildings before the bomb was safely detonated, sending debris, shell fragments and smoke into the air.

"I believe that if it actually did explode (accidentally), people nearby would have been injured," Hong Kong police chief inspector Peter Ip said.

"Because the bomb had been fired before, it was very unstable."

Seven World War II-era grenades were found near a popular hiking trail in the southern Chinese city late last year.

Hong Kong was the scene of fierce fighting between Japanese and British allied forces in 1941.