Two people were killed and two others seriously injured when a World War II bomb accidentally exploded in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, where thousands of active and unexploded explosives from that war period are still buried.
The fatalities, a father and son, were with their family around a campfire when the device, apparently buried underground and triggered by fire, exploded, local broadcaster SIBC reported last night.
In addition to the two injured people, the wife and another of the children, the explosion caused total deafness to two other males, according to the source.
Solomon Islands was the scene of important military campaigns in the Pacific during World War II, which began on May 3, 1942 with the landing of the Japanese on Tulagui Island.
That year, the U.S. Marines launched the Guadalcanal campaign against the Japanese Army, which lasted until February 1943, to prevent the Asian country from threatening the supply routes between the United States, Australia and New Zealand with its bases in the Solomon Islands.
Since then, a deadly legacy remains with thousands of active and unexploded bombs and explosives in the Solomon Islands, sometimes exploding and killing locals.
In 2020, an Australian and a British man working to trace abandoned World War II explosive devices died in the Solomon Islands capital as a result of an accidental bomb explosion. The deflagration occurred at the home of the two men, employees of the Norwegian agency Norwegian People’s Aid.
Last May, a group of Solomon Islanders found 101 unexploded wartime bombs while digging a latrine in Honiara, the capital of the Pacific nation. Authorities managed to unearth the 105 mm shells – used by U.S. troops’ light field artillery in the Pacific during World War II – after two days of operations.