Man loses fingers in homemade grenade explosion, neighbors react

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 9/08/2013 10:37 pm Published: 9/08/2013 10:34 pm

North Tulsa neighbors were frightened by a late-night explosion. A dangerous device exploded in a man's hand.

It happened in a trailer near Archer and North New Haven around 10:30 Saturday night.

Tulsa police told FOX23 that even though it's illegal to make homemade bombs, they still get a lot of explosion calls, but Saturday night's call was a little different. It's all because of what the man used.

“There was a lot of commotion out here with the police,” neighbor Brett Lawson said. “We didn't know quite what to think."

Neighbors describe their street as mass chaos Saturday night. Some even heard the disturbing sound of a loud pop. Many thought it was gunshots.

However, neighbors didn't hear gunshots at all. Instead they heard a grenade explode in a man's hand.

“It’s hard to be surprised today by anything in this world,” Lawson said.

Police told FOX23 it happened in a trailer the man lives in on a friend's property.

They say the 59-year-old was messing with a non-functional surplus grenade, trying to make it functional.

He was successful. The grenade blew up in his hand.

What's more: A trip to an army surplus store proved how easy it is to get a hold of a disarmed grenade.

Experts there say the device needs to be treated with respect, though, because it could be deadly.

“If it's done right you could kill yourself or somebody else,” Bill LaPorte told FOX23. “It's not a toy.”

Police say the man in this incident lost part of his hand, but he didn't lose his life.

Employees at the army surplus store hope people get the message, and buy disarmed grenades for proper reasons.

“They’re nice to have for a novelty,” LaPorte said. “You can put them on your desk, or use them as a gear shifter.”

The Tulsa Bomb Squad was on scene Saturday night to make sure the grenade wasn't still dangerous.

Officers have now turned over pieces of the grenade to investigators.

Police tell FOX23 the man hasn't been charged at this time but could face charges in the future.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

gettingby - 9/9/2013 5:25 AM
0 Votes
I am really sad he was hurt that bad, but that was seriously dumb, just plain stupid. And if it had worked, what was he going to do with a 'real' grenade.

Unwashed Mass - 9/8/2013 11:22 PM
3 Votes
This makes it sound like anyone can buy an inert grenade at army surplus and make it work. Not so, because it involves a lot more than just pouring in some black powder. The injuries he sustained were comparable to holding a firecracker in your hands.
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