East Hawaii News

Man Dies Following Explosion at Puna Home

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An early morning explosion Saturday, May 28, at a Puna home that critically wounded a Big Island man who later died from his injuries is under investigation by island police and federal authorities.

Officers with the Hawai‘i Police Department responded shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday to a residence on Ala Naulani Road in Fern Forest following a report of an explosion. Responding officers and Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and located a 35-year-old man on the floor of the residence with a critical wound in his abdomen. According to authorities at the scene, the man was constructing homemade fireworks when the incident happened.

The man was transported to Hilo Medical Center and then flown to Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where he later died.

The man’s wife and three children were asleep at the time of the incident and were alerted by the explosion. None of them were injured.


In response to the explosion, Hawai‘i Island police activated their bomb technicians, who are part of a Hawai‘i Interisland Bomb Squad response team, an inter-agency squad comprised of personnel from the HPD, Maui Police Department and Kaua‘i Police Department, trained in handling hazardous explosive materials and devices.

Police also received assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Honolulu Branch and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in rendering the residence safe, processing the scene and collecting evidence.

Police located and recovered materials used for constructing homemade fireworks, several firearms and 214 marijuana plants, ranging from seedlings to approximately 2 feet tall.


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

Anyone with information that could help in this investigation is asked to call the police department’s nonemergency number at 808-935-3311 or the FBI’s Honolulu field office at 808-566-4300.

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