Police yet to conclude probe into ‘metal’ blast

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

INVESTIGATION into the October 2021 blast that killed a father and his son behind Betikama, east Honiara, is yet to be concluded.

That’s according to officer in-charge of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal division of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Inspector Clifford Tunuki.

“We are yet to conclude our findings,” Tunuki told Island Sun yesterday.

He said since investigation is currently ongoing, he will not discuss the matter further.

“Further information can only be provided when we conclude our findings,” Tunuki stated

The October blast is said to have involved a galvanised pipe believed to be a Bangalore torpedo.

Previously, police say none of the measurements taken from Japanese and US technical manuals match this particular item.

According to Tunuki the galvanized metal that caused the blast was not a munition.

He said they normally locate it but it may have been an abandoned demolition charge (which is what a Bangalore torpedo is).

“Currently we are continuing our investigations and have gone to as far as the US to try and confirm where and when this item was manufactured.

 â€œIt may have been an improvised device manufactured as far back as World War II (WWII).

“Until we have completed our investigations there is no point in speculating.

“Investigation is ongoing and we are trying to determine the best answer to a difficult question and that takes time,” Tunuki said.

 He also said given the number of battles fought in Guadalcanal and the greater Solomon Islands there are a lot of UXOs and sometimes-raw explosives just lying around.

“If you do not know where something has come from, if it looks like it is from WWII and if it has a hidden space then it could contain explosives or energetic material.”


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