Chinese police officer devotes himself to protecting country by dismantling 11,000 explosive devices

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/13 17:43:40

Over the past 18 years, Liu Chengjun - a police officer in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province - has successfully dismantled and disposed of more than 11,000 bombs ranging from rediscovered unexploded ordnance to improvised explosive devices.

While this record is impressive, Liu, a bomb disposal specialist with the Zhengzhou police's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Bureau, remains modest, stating that he doesn't deserve the title of "expert" that others use to refer to him.

"On the bomb disposal battlefield, no one can be worshiped as an expert," he said.

"It would totally be a lie if I said I wasn't afraid. Who can guarantee that something won't happen by accident during the disposal process?"

Fortunately for the rest of society, the 52-year-old's sense of responsibility enables him to overcome this fear.

Before Liu sets out for a mission, he will put on a calm demeanor and find an excuse to call his wife since he knows that each mission could be his last. 

According to Liu, the most nerve-wracking disposal mission of his career took place in 2012, when he was called in to deal with devices left over from a series of bombings that took place in Nanyang, Henan Province.

Donning protective clothing weighing more than 40 kilograms, Liu walked onto the site containing the explosive devices. After four hours of continuous work, he dismantled 34 improvised explosive devices.

Before cutting the thread on the first device, he asked his colleague to take a photo of him.

"I was thinking that might be my last photo," he said.

In 2015, Liu fainted from exhaustion after a complicated disposal in Zhengzhou involving a bomb that was capable of bringing down a seven-story building. Due to the danger involved, Liu had to tackle the bomb on his own.

Liu said he once wrestled with the choice to continue his job since it made his family worry about his safety.

"But my responsibilities as a member of the 'people's police' encouraged me to carry on."

Liu Chengjun, a bomb disposal specialist, carefully dismantles an explosive device in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province. Photo: IC

Liu researches an explosive device at his office in Zhengzhou. Photo: IC

Liu exhibits different bombs he has disposed during his career. Photo: IC

Liu's colleagues help him put on a 40-kilogram protective suit before setting out for a mission. Photo: IC

Liu sorts disposed explosive devices.Photo: IC



Newspaper headline: Explosive career

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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