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(LEAD) 3 Marines wounded by grenade explosion in Pohang

2014/09/16 15:46

POHANG, South Korea, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- Two Marine Corps recruits and one instructor were injured, one of them seriously, on Tuesday when a hand grenade exploded during a training session in this southeastern port city, military sources said.

The accident took place at around 10:20 a.m. at the drill camp of the South Korean Marine Corps when a hand grenade suddenly exploded, severing the hand of one Marine recruit with shrapnel wounding another recruit and one instructor, they said.

The 19-year-old who threw the grenade is in a critical condition while the other two were listed as stable in a nearby hospital, according to the sources.

The military immediately said there were no procedural problems in the grenade drill. The moment the military instructor ordered trainees to "fling," the grenade blew up, it said.

The military is investigating the exact cause of the explosion, including the possibility of defects or a mistake in handling the grenade.

The blast is the latest in a series of accidents that have hit the South Korean military in recent months.

In early September, two noncommissioned officers in the Special Warfare Command died while undergoing a training exercise, meant to simulate enemy captivity, in the country's central town of Jeungpyeong, some 126 kilometers south of Seoul.

In April, the death of a 23-year-old Army private first class, surnamed Yoon, drew heavy public criticism after he was found to have suffered severe bullying and physical abuse from his senior comrades.

In June, another Army sergeant went on a shooting spree, killing five people, after being bullied by his colleagues while two Army draftees killed themselves together in August, citing difficulties at their barracks.