Army air drop missed its mark at a military base and landed at a nearby school
WAIMANALO, Hawaii — A training Army air drop missed its mark at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows and landed at a nearby school.
U.S. military officials confirmed it was just a training exercise and there were no dangerous materials in the bundle.
Everything was back to normal at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School Friday, one day after that bundle drop but parents and community members are still alarmed by why the training exercise was done so close to their keiki and their homes.
“And my husband was trying to comfort me and tell me calm down, its ok. I’m like no it’s not ok,” Jean Schunk, parent, Waimanalo resident said.
Schunk needed an answer. How could a military equipment bundle dropped from a helicopter land just yards away from where her two children go to school?
“The package that was dropped could have hit a child, could have hit a home. It could have hit anything,” Schunk said.
Honolulu police picked up the bundle and returned it to the army.
Shortly after, school officials sent out this letter and described how an unidentified package fell around 12:15 p.m. between the B building on the elementary side of campus and houses in Waimanalo Village.
No students, staff or nearby residents were hurt.
Military officials are investigating what went wrong and told Island News the bundle could have possibly blown off course due to wind.
“It’s been windy for six, well five to six days here. The wind is pretty up so they picked the wrong day to practice that,” Andrew Jamila, Waimanalo neighborhood member said.
Waimanalo Neighborhood Board members say incidents like this raise questions about military action so close to their community.
“This is our only intermediate school here and for that kind of business to be occurring this close to our babies, yeah that’s not makai at all,” Kukana Kama-Toth, another Waimanalo Neighborhood Board member said.
The next Waimanalo Neighborhood board meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m., on the base.
Board members expect members of the military to be present and invite the public to attend.
Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School sent home a letter Thursday.