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Explosive shell prompts evacuation of apartments


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Police evacuated a half-dozen residents of a Kapahulu apartment building yesterday morning after an explosive shell was discovered in a third-floor apartment unit vacated by an 88-year-old former military man.

It turned out to be an empty U.S. military anti-tank round stamped 1953, said Sgt. Thomas Carreiro, Honolulu police bomb squad commander.

The man told police he obtained the 2 1/2 -foot-long, 4-inch shell from a friend in Japan 35 years ago, who said he fished it out of Yokohama Bay, near Tokyo.

“;Maybe he was duped by somebody,”; Carreiro said, noting the man “;feels bad, causing all this ruckus.”;

Police got the call at about 11:15 a.m. when the property manager discovered the shell at 3112 Brokaw St. He said he did not know how to dispose of the item that was just left there, so he called police.

Although Carreiro said it appeared to be empty, they evacuated the building and kept the area and street cordoned off as a precaution.

The bomb squad summoned Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists, who arrived from Schofield Barracks about two hours later and removed it from the apartment. Residents were allowed back in shortly after 2 p.m.

Residents said they were not afraid, just inconvenienced, some waiting 2 1/2 hours.

Mina Taniguchi, who lives next door to the unit where the ordnance was found, had come home from shopping with her husband and baby, and said, “;They said it was empty, so I'm not scared. I'm just wondering why it's there.”;