By Wendy Osher
Authorities called in an emergency disposal unit to Maui after reports that a 2-foot unexploded piece of ordnance was found Monday morning in a Puʻunene cane field.
The incident was reported at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 29, about 150 to 200 feet east of the Old Puʻunene School within HC&S Field 707, according to Captain Clarence S. Kenui from the Wailuku Patrol Division of the Maui Police Department.
According to Capt. Kenui, the device was reported to authorities by an environmental management worker after it was discovered by crews conducting field plow work in the area.
The device was described as old, rusty, corroded, and cylindrical in nature, according to police reports.
The emergency ordnance disposal unit arrived on Maui last night, and detonated the device at around 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30, authorities said.
Maui Now also received reports overnight at around 12:27 a.m. inquiring about a possible earthquake, that one resident described as a “loud rumble” and “shake.” There was no seismic activity recorded by the USGS, however the detonation occurred at around the same time.
Although material is typically taken to the Ukumehame Firing Range for demolition, “moving the ordnance presented a risk, so EOD dug a trench in the area and blew it up there (on location in Puʻunene),” said Capt. Kenui.
While it is unclear just how old the device was, various parts of the island were used for military training and bombing target practice during World War II.