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Army team detonates artillery shell found on Big Island

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An Army explosives team from Honolulu helped detonate an unexploded artillery shell today that was found off Saddle Road on the Big Island. 

A witness walked into the South Kohala Police Station about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to tell officers about the ordnance, which was found about 100 yards off the side of the road in a culvert, said Big Island police spokeswoman Chris Loos. 

Officials with the Pohakuloa Training Area came to look at the ordnance and decided to call a federal explosives ordnance team, Loos said.

Yesterday, the team from Honolulu flew in. This morning, they exploded the ordnance, which destroy 149 of 150 sandbags that had been placed on top of it, Loos said.

State workers helped clean the roadway of debris after the blast about 10:15 a.m.

The ordnance appeared to be the “head of a projectile from a howitzer cannon,” Loos said. “It was just the head, maybe a foot and a half long.”

Loos did not know where the ordnance came from.

An Army spokeswoman said an Army explosive ordnance disposal team did the detonation.

Big Island police warned motorists away from the road near the 51.5 mile marker between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. The roadway was reopened at 10:45 a.m.


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