Judge approves settlement in explosion

HONOLULU (AP) – A federal judge has approved a settlement between the families of five men who died in a 2011 fireworks explosion and fire at a Waikele storage bunker and one company they sued.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Ford Island Ventures held the master lease to the Navy’s former munitions bunker complex.

Ford Island in early October proposed a $1.5 million settlement. Its approval by U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi removes Ford Island Ventures from ongoing litigation.

The families are pursuing claims against VSE Corp. and subcontractors Blanchard and Associates Inc. and Donaldson Enterprises Inc. The families say VSE had a federal contract to dispose of seized fireworks. The five men who died worked for Donaldson Enterprises.

Two Donaldson officials also face criminal charges. Their trial is scheduled for July.