The Pro-Active Voice of the Morobe Business Sector

From the President’s Desk – 30th January 2015

LAE NADZAB ROAD
The last settlement house at 9 mile will be removed today and PNG Power will be cutting the power to the old line, and be energizing the new lines. See the PPL Notice as attached to this newsletter of power disruptions in this area over the weekend.

Whilst the power is off, the tree cutter will take advantage to cut the tops of some of the trees in the 3 mile area. He doesn’t expect there to be any major disruptions to traffic, but in case the road does have to be closed, he will have police on standby to protect the public.

WORLD WAR II BOMB
On Tuesday this week China Railway International had an excavator digging soil for road preparation on the Lae/Nadzab Road. A at 8 mile near the entrance to the old Wanaru Farm just past St. Josephs Technical School. The Chinese operator was startled when about 2 metres down, there was an ominous “clunk” – yes it was an unexploded Wartime Bomb.

bomb
This the picture of it though it doesn’t really reflect the size of the bomb but it was large. If I was told it was a 500 lb bomb, I wouldn’t be surprised. The bucket of the excavator actually struck the top end (in the picture) of the bomb and dislodged some of the accumulated dirt and rust, which of course terrified the driver. The Morobe Disaster Relief Officer arranged for the Defence Force Bomb Disposal section at Igam Barracks to take the bomb to Voco Point and it was dumped in deep water on Wednesday. The fact that this area was heavily bombed during the war means that there may well be other unexploded ordnance there, which could cause a threat to the new road construction. This is a very real problem especially since the whole stretch to Nadzab and beyond was also heavily bombed.

 

This the picture of it though it doesn’t really reflect the size of the bomb but it was large. If I was told it was a 500 lb bomb, I wouldn’t be surprised. The bucket of the excavator actually struck the top end (in the picture) of the bomb and dislodged some of the accumulated dirt and rust, which of course terrified the driver.

The Morobe Disaster Relief Officer arranged for the Defence Force Bomb Disposal section at Igam Barracks to take the bomb to Voco Point and it was dumped in deep water on Wednesday.

The fact that this area was heavily bombed during the war means that there may well be other unexploded ordnance there, which could cause a threat to the new road construction. This is a very real problem especially since the whole stretch to Nadzab and beyond was also heavily bombed.

We were lucky to have Benson Nablu on the spot at the right time. Benson retired from ICI Dulux (before the split with Orica) where he was the manager of the Explosives Division. Benson is now is his village at Yalu but he is on the Steering Committee for the Lae/Nadzab Road project and was able to put to good use his training in explosives to make people, onlookers and road workers aware of the dangers posed by this bomb and what they should do in this case and any future cases.

Benson has been assigned by the project managers to conduct further more formal training courses for the Road Workers and the nearby settlers on how to conduct themselves if further bombs or explosives are located on the path of the road, or in general. He will also work on guidelines on what should be done if further ordnance is discovered.

We don’t want this incident to stop work on the road, and we will work with the steering committee to look at ways to mitigate further dangers posed by unexploded wartime ordnance along the whole path of the newly to be constructed road.

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