Investigators enter Hawaii fireworks blast site

AP News
Posted: Apr 12, 2011 10:56 PM
Investigators enter Hawaii fireworks blast site

Federal investigators looking into the deadly explosion at a Hawaii fireworks storage bunker examined the scene of the eruption for the first time Tuesday, four days after the blast killed five people.

Police officers went inside the bunker over the weekend to remove the bodies of two men, but it had been too hot to conduct an investigation until Tuesday.

An explosives specialist and a bomb technician from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives entered the bunker and found more explosives, ATF Honolulu field office agent Jordan Lowe said. No further attempts to enter would be made until authorities can find a way to mitigate the threat, he said.

There have been no known additional explosions since the Friday blast, Lowe said.

Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig said the public has been asked to stay away from the site, including those bearing flowers or setting up memorials. Authorities put up barrier tape to prevent onlookers from getting too close to the bunker entrance.

KSSK reported Tuesday that a memorial fund has been established for the victims.

The company that employed the workers, Donaldson Enterprises, had a contract with a federal agency to destroy illegal fireworks that had been confiscated, Seelig said. The leased bunker housed large aerial fireworks.

A man who identified himself as a Donaldson project manager declined to comment on the explosion or the memorial fund.

The Honolulu medical examiner's office has yet to release the names of the victims.