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(2nd LD) One Marine dead, 2 wounded by grenade explosion in Pohang

2014/09/16 18:01

POHANG, South Korea, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- One Marine Corps recruit was killed and another recruit and an instructor were wounded 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, clutched by a 19-year-old recruit, suddenly exploded.

The explosion severed the recruit's hand and he was rushed to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead there.

Shrapnel from the explosion wounded the other recruit and the instructor, who remain hospitalized in stable condition, 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 victims were engaged in a training exercise for grenade use with the two recruits, who enlisted in the Marine Corps late last year.

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

ksnam@yna.co.kr

pbr@yna.co.kr

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