Apparent accidental grenade blast injures 16 in Mexican bar - Monsters and Critics Apparent accidental grenade blast injures 16 in Mexican bar
Aug 26, 2010, 23:07 GMT
Mexico City - A grenade blast apparently set off inadvertently wounded 16 people in a bar Thursday in Puerto Vallarta, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
Cristina Guzman, a spokeswoman for the Jalisco State Attorney's Office, told the German Press Agency dpa that five of the injured have serious wounds. One victim suffered the amputation of a leg and another lost a foot.
These same five people who were most seriously wounded have been arrested, because the explosion early Thursday came from their table, where the grenade's safety pin was also found.
Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez said preliminary investigations show that the youths who had the grenade were drinking in the bar when one of them dropped the explosive 'by accident.'
'They went into a place of alcohol consumption with grenades, not to attack anybody, according to the witnesses who already testified, but to have beer,' the governor said.
Guzman said the investigation was ongoing, and that the authorities hoped the five men arrested could shed light on the incident.
Grenade attacks are not uncommon in violence-plagued Mexico, mostly in connection with organized crime, which has claimed more than 28,000 lives since December 2006.
Rescue workers help a man who was injured after a fragmentation grenade exploded next to an open air bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, early Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010.
Amid Mexico's escalating drug violence, grenades have become the latest weapon of choice used by drug gangs, with many of the grenades of Cold War vintage and manufactured in the U.S. or Eastern Europe, according to a recent Washington Post story.
So on hearing that a grenade which wounded at least 15 people was detonated in a nightspot in Puerto Vallarta, a destination once popular with tourists from the U.S. and elsewhere before the surging violence, it was easy enough to assume that someone had rolled a grenade into the bar as part of the cycle of attacks and revenge.
But NPR's Jason Beaubien reports for the network's radio newscast that the governor of Jalisco state says it was an accident.
JASON: The governor of Jalisco, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, says the grenade went off by accident.
Speaking on local radio, the governor said some young people had brought grenades into the bar "Pink Cheladas" just off the tourist strip in Puerto Vallarta.
One of the young men was carrying a bucket of beers and accidentally tripped the explosive, according to the governor.
No one was killed in the explosion but at least 4 people had to have their legs amputated...
Grenades have become a common weapon of Mexico's drug cartels. This week there have been several grenade attacks in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.
Gov. Gonzalez says the police can't patrol every bar and nightclub... and it's up to bar owners to make sure weapons aren't allowed inside.
Maybe a guy with a bucket of beers did trip and set off the grenade though it would seem to pay to be skeptical about this explanation. My understanding of how time-delay grenades work is that you have to pull the safety pin which allows the striker lever to be released before you throw it.
If grenades were so easily exploded by bumping etc, then they would be a lot more dangerous for troops to carry around than they actually are.
Maybe theres' a grenade expert out there who can tell us about the plausibility of the governor's version of events.
In any event, I don't think it's going to give people, especially tourists but Mexicans too, much comfort to hear the governor call this describe what happened as an "accident." Grenade In Puerto Vallarta Bar An 'Accident': Mexican Governor : The Two-Way : NPR
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I don't know the facts here regarding the grenade incident but I am familiar with grenades as I've thrown more than a few in my time. I cannot think it was an " accident." They can be thrown, dropped, rolled, kicked, etc and not go off " accidentally". There is a safety pin with a ring that extends through the top of the grenade to hold the lever in place. You put your finger in the ring, pull out the pin and throw. When you throw, or turn loose of the lever and it pops off, the fuse is activated and you'd better be getting rid of it. Regardless of seeing some war hero type in the movies pulling them with their teeth,it's a little harder to pull the pin out than that.When the pin is pulled, you can still continue holding down the lever and it still won't go off. When you release the lever, that's when you better be getting rid of it and pretty fast.
It is possible that some nuts were playing with one by pulling out the pin, holding down the lever and then re-inserting the pin. If so and they accidentally dropped it, then it could be in a way, called an accident.
They certainly are not something you play around with if you expect to reach old age !
There are several types now and the ones we used in Vietnam looked different than the ones used in WW 2 and Korea, which were called
" pineapples " due to their shape and appearance. The ones we used were smooth and rounder and not quite so big but more powerful.
At any rate, any grenade anywhere in the hands of thugs is bad news.
Hope this will be just an isolated incident !!
I guess the Mexican Bureau of Tourism could put a good spin on it by touting, "Visit Puerto Vallarta, you'll be blown away by the experience!"
Seriously, Ron is absolutely correct. It takes a good amount of effort to pull the pin from a grenade which allows the spring loaded lever (or for purists, "Bouchon") to fly up thereby igniting the fuse on the device.
Just the fact that a live grenade was being carried by anyone in a tourist area give me significant pause. And it's only going to get worse until and unless something is done about the horrific violence plaguing our neighbor to the South.