02/11/2021 Isole Salomone, Guadalcanal, Honiara
“If you ever come across anything suspicious like this item, please do not pick it up, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance”
By Christian Fuller
A BOMB disposal expert died in an explosion while handling Second World War explosives, an inquest has heard. Stephen Atkinson was killed while working with exploded bombs at his home in the Solomon Islands last year. The 57-year-old, who grew up in Northiam, near Rye, was working for humanitarian aid group NGO to map unexploded munitions across the islands – the scene of conflict involving Japanese and allied forces in World War Two. Mr Atkinson’s Australian colleague Trent Lee also died in the explosion. The explosive device went off at their home in the capital Honiara on September 20 last year, the inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall heard. The inquest heard that he suffered damage to his ribs, throat and upper body in the explosion, the Daily Mail reports. He later died in the National Referral Hospital in Honiara. In the aftermath of the accident, Police Inspector Clifford Tunuki said several other unexploded bombs were found in the apartment. East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze gave a verdict of death by misadventure. “There is a son that is going to have to live with this,” he said. “I think that in many ways we can call this an accident. I shall record a conclusion of misadventure.” The father-of-one, who was also known as Luke, was educated at Frewen College, Northiam, and went on to live in countries including Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Cambodia. He worked in the Solomon Islands and neighbouring Palau as a programme manager at non-governmental organisation Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), as well as for the United Nations. The Solomon Islands, which lie to the east of Papua New Guinea, was a key World War Two battleground due to its proximity to Australia. As a result, the islands are littered with thousands of ageing explosives that still pose a danger to civilians more than 70 years later.
If you find anything that appears to be an explosive device, do not touch it, leave it where it is and call the police. We will contact the appropriate agencies to properly dispose of the item.
Dear editors, Biography of a bomb is aimed at highlighting the danger caused by unexploded bombs. Moreover, the most important aspect is that we work completely non profit, raising awerness about this topic is what drives us. We apologize if we make use of pictures in yours articles, but we need them to put a context in how findings are done. We will (and we always do) cite source and author of the picture. We thank you for your comprehension.