A Briton and an Australian have been killed by a World War 2 bomb they had apparently found and taken to their office in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands.
The Norwegian People’s Aid agency identified the men as staff members Stephen Atkinson from Britain and Australian Trent Lee. They were working with the government to develop a database of unexploded bombs from the war.
The city is located on Guadalcanal island, the site of savage battles between Japanese and American troops. It remains littered with unexploded bombs.
Authorities have been clearing unexploded ordnance in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games, which the Solomon Islands is hosting.
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force said the men were killed on Sunday when the bomb exploded in their office in a residential part of Honiara.
Police said they are still investigating but believe the men had several unexploded bombs in their office and may have been trying to disarm them, ABC news reported.
“We are concerned that they decided to conduct explosive ordnance disposal operations within a residential area,” Inspector Clifford Tunuki said in a statement, adding that police later removed other bombs from the office.