According to media reports, an investigation is underway into the origin and cause of an explosion that occurred in a fireworks storage bunker in Waikele on Friday, April 8, 2011 at about 9:00 a.m. local time.

Audrey McAvoy of Associated Press, in an article published by the Hawaii Tribune Herald, reported that five men died in the explosion which, reportedly, was so powerful it scorched trees 40 feet away.  The fireworks were of the kind often used in public displays, such as on the Fourth of July.  The workers who died were employed by a company under contract to destroy the fireworks, which were illegal and had been seized by the federal government. Investigating the origin and cause of this incident are the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and the state’s Occupational Safety and Health office, along with local fire and police officials.