BANGKOK, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Navy divers plan to retrieve underwater explosives used during the Second World War in western Thailand in the upcoming December, said a senior government official on Thursday.
A 30-strong explosive ordnance disposal team of the navy will dive under the Chulalongkorn railway bridge in Mae Klong River in the capital district of Ratchaburi province, about 100 km west of Bangkok, in a rare mission to retrieve three to five bombs which were dropped from Allied combat aircraft during the Second World War, according to Deputy Provincial Governor Veerat Prasetto.
It remains to be seen whether the old bombs are still live or already dud.
Ahead of the navy's explosive disposal team, another team consisting of up to 10 navy divers will take a one-week time to conduct underwater survey and assure safety measures for those who will retrieve them, the deputy provincial governor said.
If the bombs are found live, they will be transported by the air force on a 300-km-long route from Ratchaburi to Lopburi province for destruction, Veerat said.
If they are found dud, they will be put on display alongside a light and sound performance during a New Year festival in downtown area of Ratchaburi, he said.
Also submerged under the railway bridge in Ratchaburi's stretch of Mae Klong river is an old steam-engined locomotive, used by the Japanese during the Second World War, which is yet to be retrieved as well.
The steam-engined locomotive was believed to have been derailed and sunk into the river in 1944.
Local villagers who dived in the river prowling for shrimps found the locomotive and explosives under water beneath the wooden railway bridge.
A dual-track railway, which will be built to link Nakhon Pathom province with Hua Hin beach resort via Ratchaburi is designed to cross the river there.