Military artillery shells found at hazardous location

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KALAELOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Safety comes first at Air Liquide, according to a sign outside their Kalaeloa facility.  Although it appears common sense does not.  The company makes and distributes liquid oxygen, nitrogen and other flammable materials which is why it was so shocking that someone would store a box with what looked like bombs on the property.

"I think it's kind of freaky I've been working here a long time and right next door," said Michael Cabastas, Aloha Petroleum Driver.

Firefighters and a Navy team were called in to inspect.  While they worked two dozen businesses were evacuated including the Aloha Petroleum plant which has its tanks just a few 100 feet away and is one of the last places you want an explosion.

"Not only us but the gas company one block up, there's all kind of industrial stuff around here. A lot of stuff can go wrong," said Cabastas.

"We do a lot of preplanning in this area. We know there are a lot of target hazards and there could be some serious consequences," said Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department.

The city's H-power plant was also shut down keeping truckers waiting far away on side streets.  After two hours crews determined what it was that caused all the concern.

"It was 17 large caliber military style of ordnance, Howitzer 155mm shells," said Capt. Seelig.

They are old and rusty and did not have any explosive material or fuses.  It was just the shells and was essentially sentimental scrap metal.

Air Liquide was not cited despite keeping emergency crews occupied and causing a scare.  It's unknown why the shells were at the facility or if they'll stay there.  The company did not return calls for comment.

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