An explosion in the Solomon Islands killed two men who work for an aid organization that helps clear unexploded bombs.
Stephen Atkinson from Great Britain and Trent Lee from Australia were employees of Norwegian People̵
The explosion took place on Sunday in a residential area of the capital Honiara.
The Solomon Islands, a World War II battlefield in the South Pacific, is littered with thousands of unexploded bombs.
The Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) described the explosion as a “tragic accident”.
Its Deputy Secretary General Per Nergaard said an “investigation must be completed before any conclusion can be drawn about the cause of the events”.
The organization’s general secretary, Henriette Killi Westhrin, added that she was “devastated by what happened”.
Lee described himself as a chemical weapons advisor on his Facebook page, adding that his role was to “examine and locate the items and then provide information.” [to] the Solomon Islands Police Department’s Explosives Disposal Team “.
This was confirmed by a statement from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force that the survey team usually first confirms the location of unexploded ordnance before relaying the information to them.
According to the NPA, they helped the government develop a centralized database “which provides an overview of the vast amounts of explosive remains of war contamination from World War II”.
Before the 2023 Pacific Games, workers had been in the capital, Honiara, to clear bombs.