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Sunday, July 7, 2002



Training accident
injures 8 Marines

A grenade bounced into their
trench at a Big Isle training area


By Gregg K. Kakesako
gkakesako@starbulletin.com

Seven Marines are recuperating at Tripler Army Medical Center today after suffering minor injuries when a grenade bounced back into the trench where they were huddled at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.

Shrapnel hit eight Marines when the errant grenade went off late Friday, said 1st Lt. Kent Robbins, Kaneohe Bay spokesman. All but one were later transferred to Tripler yesterday as a safety precaution, Robbins said.

More than 1,000 Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, stationed at Kaneohe Bay are now at Pohakuloa training in support of RIMPAC 2002 until the end of the month. The injured Marines belong to Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, from Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

This is the second military training accident this year involving local soldiers learning how to properly use hand grenades.

In April one soldier died and three soldiers were injured when a M-67 training grenade exploded unexpectedly. All were in the 25th Division's 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry. Among the injured was its leader, Lt. Col. Thomas P. Guthrie, 39, from Annapolis, Md.

The Army has not yet released details of its investigation of the accident that killed Spec. David G. Rubic, 22, an infantryman from San Diego assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, who was believed to have been holding the grenade when it exploded.

Capt. Mark C. Houston, 29, who commands A Company and is from Delmar, N.Y., and Pvt. Adam Newton, 20, an infantryman assigned to A Company from Clayton, N.Y., suffered leg wounds.

April's accident occurred at Kolekole Range 5 on Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa. Guthrie and Houston were serving as observers and controllers of the exercise and were not participants.

The Army training accident involved clearing a trench, which was similar to the Marines' accident Friday at Pohakuloa.



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