(UPDATED) -- A HABAL-HABAL driver died when the rifle grenade he found in a grassy lot in Sitio Tambisan, Barangay Tisa exploded yesterday morning.
Ruben Genterone, 32, discovered the grenade when he was relieving himself. He was last seen by his mother rubbing the explosive past 9 a.m.
“He was touching the grenade and opened the pin, which led to the explosion,” said SPO4 Alex Dacua of the Cebu City Police Office’s Homicide Section.
Dacua said the victim might have accidentally triggered the grenade. Some 30 seconds after the pin was opened, the grenade went off.
Dacua said Genterone lost both of his arms and the explosion tore his stomach.
The rifle grenade, Dacua said, is not a vintage bomb. Its kind is still being used to this day.
Residents in the area claimed that two military men lived near the area where Genterone found the explosive.
Lorena Suson, the victim’s mother, asked the police for a deeper investigation on the death of his youngest son.
“I think he thought it was bronze that we can sell to a junkyard,” she said.
Genterone left behind a wife and four children.
Cristina Cañete, the victim’s wife, said that Genterone was on his way to the road when the accident happened.
“He brought the grenade with him. It was not really old-looking. It looked new,” she said.
The house nearby where the grenade exploded was damaged.
In a separate interview, Dave Silawan, who is a student, said they though it was a transformer that exploded.
“When I looked out in the window, I saw him (Genterone) lying on the ground, breathing heavily. I called for help but he eventually died because of his wounds,” he said.
There were no other residents in the area who got injured during the incident.
The Homicide Section will conduct an investigation as to where the grenade came from and check if there are other explosive devices left lying in the area.
Upon learning about the incident, Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella urged the police to investigate why a grenade was left in a public place.
To avoid damages or loss of lives, Labella said the public should immediately report to the authorities when an explosive is found near their places.
Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra, for his part, said the barangay will extend assistance to the family of Genterone.
He said they are planning to give a job to the wife of the victim after they found out that she has no stable source of income to feed their children.
Police are encouraging the public to call them immediately if they find similar devices and to refrain from touching them.