Monday, August 14, 2006

Hawai'i Still at Risk From Old Munitions

Hawai'i still at risk from old munitions

By William Cole
Honolulu Advertiser
August 13, 2006

Ka'u Paio was digging in a garden at Waimea Middle School in 2002 on the Big Island with other students when the earth yielded something unexpected— a live hand grenade.

In 1999, a stretch of beach in Makaha was closed down after a boy found a grenade, its pin still in place, buried in the sand.

Seventeen-year-old James O'Hare was killed in 1971 when a 40 mm grenade exploded as he attempted to dismantle it. Police had said the youth found the explosive at the military's Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.

In Hawai'i, unexploded ordnance, or UXO, is part of the landscape — the consequence of a defensive buildup pre-World War I and the massive rush to respond in World War II.

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