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Aussie man's chilling Facebook post before being killed in explosion

Ash Cant
·3-min read

An Australian man made a harrowing Facebook post about the dangers of his job before dying in an explosion in the Solomon Islands.

Trent Lee, an Australian man and his British colleague, Stephen "Luke" Atkinson, were killed in a blast in their West Honiara apartment between 7.30pm and 8pm on Sunday night.

The two men were bomb specialists working for an overseas-funded project that maps unexploded bomb sites for later disposal by specialist police teams.

In August, Mr Lee shared a Facebook post detailing the dangers of his job.

Police forensic team members attend the scene where Australian man Trent Lee died in an explosion.
An Australian man has been killed alongside his British colleague in a blast in the Solomon Islands. Source: Facebook/RSIPF

“US MK 32 Naval round HE with a MK18 mechanical time fuze...pretty much the most dangerous WW2 ammunition we find,” Mr Lee shared on the social media site.

“Its [sic] cocked and ready to bump and its [sic] all over.”

Mr Lee and Mr Atkinson worked for Norwegian People Aid (NPA), a non-government organisation funded by the US State Department.

A police media statement said the men were conducting a non-technical survey on the contamination of the unexploded ordnances in the Solomons.

The apartments where the men were staying also served as the project office for the survey team and investigators will work to determine why the explosives were present.

According to the Solomon Star newspaper, residents rushed to the scene following the Sunday night blast, to find the men seriously injured.

A screenshot of Trent Lee's Facebook post, showing a World War 2 bomb. He said the bomb is ready to fire, "one bump and it's all over".
Mr Lee posted a photo of a bomb that he had found at work, describing it as the 'most dangerous' World War II ammunition he deals with.
Forensic investigators at the blast scene where Australian mam Trent Lee was killed.
Trent Lee has been confirmed as the Australian man killed in the Solomon Islands. Source: Facebook/RSIPF

One of the men died at the scene while the other was confirmed dead at the hospital, AAP reported.

The police said the blast area has been sealed off and officers of the explosive ordnance disposal team and forensics department were at the scene.

"We call on members of the public in the Tasahe area to please stay well away from the area of the incident and allow RSIPF officers to do their work as we investigate this tragic incident," Inspector Clifford Tunuki said.

NPA confirmed the deaths of Mr Lee and Mr Atkinson in a statement.

“This is a tragic accident. So far, we know that there has been an explosion with fatal consequences,” the statement said.

“Our main priority now is to offer assistance to relatives and colleagues, and to clarify what has happened.”

The statement also said NPA’s activities in the region have been temporarily put on hold and the organisation is working with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

A photo of the scene with tape that reads 'DANGER' strapped to a balcony railing.
Trent Lee and Stephen Atkinson were working on a database of explosive remnants of war contamination dating from the Second World War. Source: Facebook/RSIPF

The statement also provided more context as to what the NPA is doing in the Solomon Island.

“The accident took place in the Solomon Islands, where NPA is assisting the Government in developing a centralised database that gives an overview of the extensive amounts of explosive remnants of war contamination dating from the Second World War,” the statement said.

“NPA is working with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, to develop an effective nation-wide information collection system.”

With AAP

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