Fatal blast

WWII bomb goes off in residential area close to heart of Honiara leaving one dead, three in serious condition

The bomb shell shrapnel that was found after the explosion 300 to 400 meters away from the scene of incident
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A bomb explosion in the residential areas of Lengakiki Minister’s ridge has left one dead and three others in serious condition.

The deceased succumbed to his wounds shortly after being rushed to the hospital following the blast.

It is believed the blast came from an unexploded World War II ordnance (UXO).

The UXO is believed to have been buried not so deep beneath the fireplace which the victims were cooking on.

The incident occurred around 2.45pm yesterday – a group of youths from the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Kukum Church group, Topaz, were cooking for their outreach Ministry work at the residence.

Resident Duddley Posala said the group were preparing and doing an outdoor cooking under a nearby mango tree.

“It was their last cook, a pot of cabbage. They had already cooked two pots before the last one. We did not do much cooking or burning of rubbish at the area,” Posala told Island Sun at the scene.
He said it was when the final pot was being cooked that the explosion happened.

Speaking to this paper Medical Superintendent Dr John Hue also confirmed:

“There were four people injured, two male and two females were presented at the Emergency Department around 3pm today (Sunday) injured from the bomb blast incident.

“Sadly, one of them passed away at the emergency department, the other three they have serious injuries. Our team from the orthopaedic team and also Surgical as well are attending them at the moment. Basically, we will attend to their injuries and its seriousness.

“The postmortem of the one that died will happen tomorrow (today). Unfortunately, further information will be released later,” says Hue.

Island Sun also spoke to the Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit containing the area who said they will release information through the police media unit.

Police media in a press statement last night reported Officer In-charge (OIC), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team, Inspector Clifford Tunuki saying, “One of the four casualties has been confirmed death, other two in critical condition and one has some minor injuries.

“There are two females among the three casualties whom currently at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), whilst a male person was pronounce death.

“Based on information we have gathered. Some youths come together at the place of the incident (Legakiki) to do a fundraising drive. They prepared some food and selected a site and erected a fire to cook their food for the fundraising, without realising that there is a bomb lying underground on the location which they built the fire on.

“Police have responded to the incident and secured the scene after the blast. RSIPF Forensic and EOD team are working together to investigate the sad incident. The scene is cleared but still subject to investigation.

“EOD experts have identified the bomb which is a US 105mm High Explosive Projectile that remain after the World War II. Other parts of the bomb were safely transported to Hells Points since the base of the bomb still containing explosives for render safe.

“My condolences to the family of the deceased for the tragic loss of one of their family members,” says Tunuki.

Minister’s Ridge is the part of the Lengakiki suburbs which is closest to the city, overlooking the busy CBD of Honiara, Pt Cruz.