Feds investigating Puna explosion that killed a man

Police and federal authorities are investigating an explosion that killed a man early Saturday morning in the Fern Forest subdivision of Puna.

According to police, officers responded shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday to a residence on Ala Naulani Road on a report of an explosion.


Responding police and Hawaii Fire Department personnel found a 35-year-old man lying on the floor of the home with a critical abdomen wound. He was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where he later died from the injuries.

The deceased’s wife and three children were asleep in the home when the explosion occurred, but none were injured.

Police say the man had been making homemade fireworks when the explosion occurred.

In response, police activated their explosives technicians, who are part of a Hawaii Interisland Bomb Squad response team. HIBS is an inter-agency squad comprised of personnel from the Hawaii, Maui and Kauai police departments who are trained in handling hazardous explosive materials and devices.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Honolulu Branch, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to help render the residence safe, process the scene, and collect evidence.

Police say materials used for making homemade fireworks, several firearms, and 214 marijuana plants, ranging from seedlings to approximately 2-feet tall, were seized.

Federal authorities are taking the lead in this ongoing investigation and the exact cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

Anyone with information that might assist in this investigation is asked to call the police non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or the Honolulu Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (808) 566-4300.

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