By Liz Gascón.
Three brothers, aged 10 and 8, died, and their 6-year-old sister was severely injured when a grenade went off Wednesday afternoon, September 9, in the La Esperanza de Pavia neighborhood, located on the outskirts of Barquisimeto.
The brothers mistook the device for a ball, according to reports from the Lara State Police and the Scientific and Investigation Police (Cicpc in Spanish).
Initial findings by the national intelligence service (SEBIN) and National Police have it that the grenade was an M26 type of device. Colombian Armed Forces use this type of grenade, and military industries in the neighboring country also manufacture it.
The 10-year-old boy died when the device was detonated, while the 8-year-old boy was admitted alive to Pastor Oropeza Hospital in Barquisimeto, but did not survive. The 6-year-old girl remains in intensive care at the Pediatrics Hospital in Barquisimeto, and her condition is stable, relatives of the Montero Camejo family told El Pitazo.
He died a week before his birthday
In the house of the Montero Camejo couple, they were painting the walls while the children played soccer in the street. The father was fixing up the house to celebrate the 11th birthday of the oldest boy on September 17. “They were going to make a cake and have a little party. He died a week before his birthday,” lamented those close to him.
“They were painting some drawings that the father made (on the porch of the house). The father entered to continue painting a room, and ran out when he heard a noise, thinking it was the gas cylinder. We do not know how it happened,” said the source.
The Cicpc report state that the brothers found “a small device in the shape of a balloon with black spots,” and one of the children began to manipulate it without knowing that he was activating an M26 grenade.
Difficult road to the hospital
The two boys were taken separately to the hospital in Barquisimeto, located more than ten kilometers from the place of the accident.
Family members and neighbors blocked the street with sticks and stones to stop the first vehicle that crossed the road. “There is no way to mobilize here. The few cars are without gasoline, motorcycles do not exist, ” said one of the relatives.
The girl was taken to the hospital in a car that left them several blocks away from the hospital. A neighbor helped the boy but had an accident on the road due to the lack of gasoline. Finally, a policeman helped to get to the hospital.