UPDATE – (5:15 p.m.) – Police say at “around 3:15 p.m., it was determined that what was initially reported as unexploded ordnance was in fact an inoperative novelty type grenade.” The roadway is now open and there is no threat to the public.
(BIVN) – Police say the discovery of a possible unexploded ordnance in Puna required the evacuation of surrounding businesses on Thursday afternoon.
At around 11:59 a.m., Puna patrol officers responded to a call about the discovery of the UXO in the area of Kahakai Boulevard near the Woodland Center in Pāhoa.
From the Police Department:
Responding officers determined that the ordnance appeared to be a grenade, but could not determine its volatility. As a precautionary measure, the surrounding business establishments were evacuated and police are on scene and are awaiting the arrival of the Hawaiʻi Inter-island Bomb Squad for safe removal and disposal of the ordnance.
Police are asking that the public stay away from this area for the next several hours.
Police are taking this opportunity to remind Hawai‘i Island residents who may find explosives to leave them alone and immediately call the Hawaii Police Department at 911 or the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
Kahakai Boulevard fronting the Woodland Center was also reported to be closed as police responded to the situation.