Latin American Herald Tribune

Colombian Officials Say Only 1 Person Died in Blast

Sept 07--Health officials in the northwestern city of Medellin denied Sunday that a second person died when a man accidentally set off a grenade as people were celebrating Colombia’s World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador, but they did raise the number of wounded in the incident from 47 to 48, of whom two are in critical condition because of the severity of their injuries.

7 de septiembre de 2009

Medellin emergency management chief Camilo Zapata said reports that a second person died in the early morning hours were incorrect.

“We already have a consolidated tally where we have a total of 48 people injured; 29 of them were already released during the night and we have one person who died,” Zapata said, adding that two people are in the intensive care unit of a hospital as a result of the blast.

The preliminary investigation found that the grenade went off accidentally.

The incident occurred at 7:40 p.m. Saturday at San Antonio Park, where the grenade exploded as fans celebrated the Colombian squad’s 2-0 win over Ecuador at Medellin’s Atanasio Girardot Stadium and watched the game between Argentina and Brazil.

The police bomb squad cordoned off San Antonio Park to gather evidence for the investigation into the blast that killed the teacher.

The explosion occurred when a “person (was) handling a fragmentation grenade in a careless manner,” police Gen. Orlando Paez Baron told RCN radio.

A reward of 10 million pesos (some $5,100) is being offered for information that will allow authorities to “clearly identify this person who in an irresponsible way was handling this grenade,” the general said.
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