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Police and Fire

For Wednesday, November 9, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Plant leaks tiny amount of hydrogen sulfide

A lightning strike at a geothermal well in Pahoa on Tuesday temporarily shut down operations and caused a minuscule release of hydrogen sulfide, Hawaii County firefighters said.

A resident in the Lani Puna subdivision reported the smell of hydrogen sulfide — a poisonous, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs — at about 1:35 p.m. The subdivision is west of Puna Geothermal Venture, a power plant that creates energy by tapping volcanic heat.

Firefighters found a power plant representative taking air readings of 62 parts per billion of hydrogen sulfide. Their own readings were well below the evacuation level of 10 parts per million, firefighters said.

A spokesman for the power plant told them a lightning strike had set off the release. Power was restored, and the plant’s operations were returned to normal.

Suspect is held in attack and robbery

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the robbery of a man Monday night in Pupukea.

The victim, 19, reported that he was sitting in his parked vehicle at about 8 p.m. when a man approached him, opened his door, pulled him out and punched him.

The attacker also took $80 from the victim’s pockets, police said. He went home and called police.

The suspect, 23, was found and arrested later Monday night. He is being held pending a charge of second-degree robbery.

Car crash closes lanes on Pali Highway

Two right lanes in the Kailua-bound direction of Pali Highway were closed Tuesday night after a car hit a wall and overturned.

The crash happened just before 6 p.m. near Waokanaka Street, police said. One lane was reopened before 7:30 p.m., but the other remained closed late Tuesday night.

The crash caused boulders as large as 2 feet in diameter to fall onto the road. A tunnel crew was on the way to clear up the debris, police said. No major injuries were reported.


Blaze razes house in North Kohala

Fire destroyed a single-family house Monday in Kapaau, North Kohala, but no one was injured, Hawaii County fire officials said.

The house on Union Mill Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at 7:13 a.m., officials said. The fire was reported at 6:59 a.m.

County fire officials said all occupants escaped safely.

The cause was under investigation. The blaze caused $250,000 in damage to the home.

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