Community ordered to evacuate for bomb removal - Solomon Star News

Community ordered to evacuate for bomb removal
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21 September 2018
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Bags of sand built around the bomb that is set to be detonated on Friday.

STREAM Valley community residents of Tasahe B in West Honiara are being ordered to evacuate their homes this morning to allow the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) to carry out a Render Safe Procedure (RSP) inorder to remove an unexploded bomb found in the area.

Residents have been advised to abandon their homes between 8am to 11am this morning to allow the officers carry out the operation.

A statement from the Police Media Unit quoted Assistant Commissioner (AC) National Operations Mostyn Mangau as saying this task is in relation to the report of unexploded ordnance (UXO) that has been found recently by members of the community living there. The UXO is fitted with a Mechanical Time Fuse and is unsafe to remove.

“The EOD Team need to perform a render-safe procedure before the UXO can be removed. Once this is done, the UXO can be safely transported to Hells Point in East of Honiara,” explained AC Mangau.

“The EOD Team appeals to people living in and around the Stream Valley residential area at Tasahe B to keep away from the UXO site until the operation is completed,” said Mr Mangau.

Members of the public in the area have been asked to vacate their dwellings as part of a safe evacuation this morning and some roads will be closed around the exclusion zone, the police media statement said.

RSIPF regrets any inconvenience to residents and road users. However the safety of the community remains the highest priority.

On Wednesday two bombs were found in the area. One was safely removed the same day by a team of police officers but the other one was left for the EOD for further inspection.

A member of the community told the paper that following the inspection by EOD yesterday it was decided the residents must leave their homes before an operation to remove the bomb can proceed.

He said the bomb poses danger because its pin is at the verge of falling off.

He said EOD team came yesterday morning and returned later in the afternoon with three land cruisers loaded with bags of sand.

“They then placed the bags of sand around the bomb.” he said.

A public notice was put up around the area yesterday to warn the community residents and the nearby settlements to clear the area at a distance of about 800 metres.

“The general public living within Stream Valley, Independence Valley, Hatanga area, Tasahe B area and Ngossi are kindly warned to keep out from the activated area while the operation is in progress,” a notice from the RSIPF Bomb Disposal Team warned.

Sergeant Peter Ririvere of EOD unit issued the warning notice yesterday asking all the residents to leave their homes and properties.

The live bomb was found in the backyard farm of one of the residents while tilling the land to plant crops.

According to EOD team the bomb were ones used by warships, during the second world war.

Last week similar operation was conducted in Honiara where a similar bomb was found. The central business district was shut down to allow the bomb team to safely remove it.

By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI

 

 

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