500 POUNDS OF WWII MUNITIONS DISPOSED ON SAIPAN

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By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 2) –Some 500 pounds of live World War II ordnance collected around the island were blown up at the disposal site in Marpi on Friday.

Lt. Troy R. Lawson of the U.S. Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal unit on Guam said some 250 pieces of U.S. and Japanese ordnance were collected and stored in the bunker for the past several months.

The detonation was supervised by the Navy, the Department of Public Safety’s explosive response team and John Scott, Hazmat and WMD consultant of the Emergency Management Office and DPS.

The group started preparing the pieces of ordnance on Friday morning, transferring them from the bunker to the disposal site where they were packed with high explosives.

The munitions were covered with dirt and were blown up using a remote firing device.

DPS blocked the Marpi road at 12 noon to secure the place to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

People who wanted to see the bomb detonation were instructed to view the activity on Suicide Cliff.

Among the people who waited for an hour to witness the detonation was Superior Court Judge David A. Wiseman.

At 1:45 p.m., retired Sgt. Dillon Wood pressed the remote control device for the first shot which is called the bird shot. After a few minutes, the second shot for the blast was heard.

In previous years, DPS and the Navy would blow up ordnance every six months, but since authorities have been collecting a lot of munitions, detonation is now scheduled every time the collected ordnance reaches 500 pounds.

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