An Australian and a British employee of an NGO were killed in an explosion at their home in the Solomon Islands on Sunday. The two mapped unexploded World War II bombs. In their home, police found several unexploded bombs.
Australian Trent Lee and Briton Stephen Atkinson worked for the NGO Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). The organization is working with the police to dispose of old explosives on the islands.
Police were unaware that the two employees had taken bombs home, said The Guardian. The house has been classified as a crime scene.
It is not clear whether the men were dismantling explosives just before the explosion. The home was declared safe shortly after the incident.
In and around the Solomon Islands there was a lot of fighting during the Second World War. Scattered across the islands are thousands of unexploded bombs from that time. We are currently working hard to clear the bombs before the Pacific Games are held there in 2023.
Lee shared last month via Facebook a photo of an unexploded explosive device, said The Guardian. “This is one of the most dangerous World War II explosives we’ve found to date,” he added. “He’s on edge and ready to go…. One move and it’s all over.”
The NPA speaks in one statement of a “tragic accident” and has temporarily halted activities on the islands.