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Army instructor killed in accidental blast

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – An Army instructor was killed while nine trainees were injured when a grenade “accidentally” exploded during an explosive simulation exercise at an Army training facility here on Monday afternoon.

Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, said Tuesday the grenade went off at around 4 p.m. inside the 12th Regional Community Defense Group Army Reserve Command (RCDG-ARESCOM) camp at Asinan in Barangay Buayan here.

He said the Army trainees, who were composed of active personnel and reservists, were having a simulation session as part of their explosive ordnance reconnaissance training.

“It was an accidental explosion. There was no foul play involved,” he told PNA, citing results of their initial investigation.

He identified the fatality as Technical Sergeant (T/Sgt.) Pableo Balansag, an instructor of the 12th RCDG-ARESCOM.

The injured trainees were identified as T/Sgts. Sergeant Rolando Camoro Bonifacio C. Soriano from General Santos City; Staff Sgt. Norjan Salik; Corporals Jonard Barlizo and Cpl. Michael Camus; Privates First Class Ramon Baylon and Basser Lumanga; and, Privates Francisco Martinez and Jovito Besana.

According to Army spokesman Col Benjamin Ho, Soriano accidentally detonated the fragmentation grenade which had an incomplete component.

“Accordingly, when you pulled the firing pin there is a five-minute delay before the explosion. There is safety procedures and we are wondering why it happened,” Hao said. (With a report from Francis T Wakefield)