Mortar shell found in Makiki neighborhood

Romeo Tumbagon
Romeo Tumbagon
Richard Long
Richard Long

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Landscapers have found a lot of strange things when clearing out a property, but finding a mortar shell in a residential neighborhood was a first.

"Oh I was surprised, I said oh what is this?" said Romeo Tumbagon, Reliable Landscaping employee who discovered the bomb.

Romeo Tumbagon was separating green waste from the trash when he came upon a plastic shopping bag.

"When I pick it up it's too heavy. I drop it and look at it and I saw a bomb," said Tumbagon.

"My worker picked up this bag and it was heavy and he looked inside and saw that thing and set it back down and said hey a bomb, a bomb!" said Richard Long, Reliable Landscaping owner.

They say it looked old and black and didn't appear to be a fake.

The mortar was not American made.

"It was about a foot long and four inches in diameter and it had some wings on the back of it. It was like a mortar shell, the kind they drop in the back of a tube and explode up. It looked serious, like enough to call 911," said Long.

Police shut down the neighborhood around Cartwright Park.  The mortar was found underneath the Keeaumoku Street bridge and right next to the H-1 freeway.

There used to be a big tree and cactus where the mortar was found but it had all cut down.  Neighbors say the homeless used it as a closet to hide things and are guessing that's where the bomb came from.

Officers deemed it safe to transport and loaded the unexploded mortar into an SUV.  It was taken to Schofield Barracks where the 706th Army Explosive Ordnance Detachment will be destroyed.

The neighborhood and surrounding streets were reopened by 10:00 am.

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