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Grenade Training Disaster Claims Life at Army Base

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The South Korean Army issued an emergency directive to frontline units on the 21st.

This is a follow-up measure due to the grenade explosion accident that occurred at the 32nd Infantry Division’s recruit training unit on the same day.

Scene of the grenade accident at the Army’s 32nd Infantry Division / Yonhap News

According to eDaily, the Army stated regarding the grenade explosion, “After the accident, we immediately directed to use training grenades instead of live grenades until the cause of the accident is clarified.”

They added, “Currently, military and civilian police are thoroughly investigating the exact circumstances and cause of the accident, and we will take all necessary follow-up measures based on the results.”

Newsis reported that this is the first time since September 2015 a grenade explosion has occurred at the Army’s recruit training unit.

At that time, a training soldier’s wrist was amputated due to a grenade explosion at the 50th Infantry Division’s recruit training unit in Daegu. Sergeant Kim Won Jung, who was with him, died during treatment after being hit by shrapnel all over his body.

After this accident, the military authorities suspended training with live grenades. Instead, they have been training with non-explosive training grenades. Then, from January 1, 2019, they allowed the resumption of actual grenade training at the discretion and judgment of the commander.

This accident is the first to occur about five years and four months after the resumption of actual training.

According to military authorities, around 9:50 a.m. on the same day, an accident occurred during grenade-throwing training at the 32nd Infantry Division in Sejong City, where a grenade exploded.

As a result of this accident, the trainee was transferred to Armed Forces Daejeon Hospital in a state of cardiac arrest but ultimately deceased. Sergeant B, who was commanding the training at the time, was seriously injured and is being treated at Armed Forces Capital Hospital.

According to News1, it was understood that the accident occurred when the trainee did not throw the grenade after pulling the safety pin during grenade-throwing training.

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