28 Jul 2021

Solomon Islands man narrowly escapes explosion of WW2 ordnance

3:28 pm on 28 July 2021

A man in Solomon Islands has narrowly escaped the explosion of ordnance left over from World War Two.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports the man had lit a fire while clearing some land in a valley in Tasahe on the western side of the capital Honiara.

Local residents told the paper the man said he heard an unusual noise coming from the fire and ran away just minutes before a huge explosion shook the area sending up a large column of dark smoke that they said could be seen across the valley.

No one was hurt during the incident which occurred at around 2pm on Saturday.

With Solomon Islands seeing some of the most intense conflict in WWII, the country remains littered with bombs, with hidden munitions an ongoing threat across the country.

A Navy diver recovers unexploded ordnance in Solomons Islands.

A Navy diver recovers unexploded ordnance in Solomons Islands. Photo: suppled

In May this year two people were killed in an explosion of a World War II shell exploded in the lengakiki area.

Last September, two members of a Norwegian NGO working on munitions recovery and disposal were killed by ordnance which they had collected and stored in their residential apartment in Honiara.

The recent incidents have prompted renewed calls locally and regionally for the United States and Japan to do more to help the country clear out dangerous unexploded WWII ordnance.