Families of the victims of Waikele fireworks' explosion file sui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Families of the victims of Waikele fireworks' explosion file suit

Honolulu firefighters at the scene of the explosion on April 8th, 2011 Honolulu firefighters at the scene of the explosion on April 8th, 2011
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The families of five men who were killed in a fiery explosion on April 8, 2011, are filing multiple lawsuits in state court this week, alleging that a number of local and mainland companies were negligent or reckless in allowing hazardous work to be performed in an unsafe manner.

George Keli'i, the grandfather of victim Justin Kelii, summed up the tragedy by stating, "We just want justice."

The five men, ranging in age from 24 to 50, were employees of Donaldson Enterprises, Inc. and were working in a bunker at an area known as the Waikele Caves.

The explosion occurred while the men were dismantling illegal fireworks to prepare for the fireworks' destruction at a different site.  

Donaldson Enterprises had been hired by VSE Corporation, a Delaware corporation, to dispose of the illegal fireworks.

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages, including punitive damages.

The victims who died in the fireworks explosion are:

  • Bryan Dean Cabalce Robert Freeman
  • Justin Joseph Keli'i
  • Robert Leahey
  • Neil Sprankle

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