Three men have been arrested attempting to bring a live mortar round into the US’ Pearl Harbor military base in their vehicle, according to military officials. The incident shut down the base for hours.
It’s not clear why the group had the explosive device, which authorities said did not have a firing device attached but could be modified and triggered by something other than the usual mortar tube. A spokesman for the Hawaii base called the device a “deadly weapon.”
The trio were stopped on their way into the sprawling base by security on Tuesday night after a guard smelled marijuana, leading him to look closer at the inside of the vehicle and spot the “potential ordnance,” the spokesman said. The base was shut down for approximately two hours while a bomb squad investigated and reopened with no injuries.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service arrested the suspects and is looking into the incident, which comes just a month after a US sailor went on a shooting rampage inside the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, killing two civilian workers and injuring one more before shooting himself.
It is not uncommon for unauthorized individuals to end up at the Pearl Harbor gate, the base spokesman said, adding that “hundreds” of people, most of them lost, are turned away without proper identification on a daily basis.
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