THE explosion inside the shop of the Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Battalion of the Philippine Army at the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office compound in Bacolod City Tuesday that killed a soldier and wounded one was accidental, said Brigadier General Jon Aying.

The commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade denied any foul play in the incident, saying that “it was purely accidental.

Technical Sergeant Joven Maravilla and Corporal Erlwin Trases were conducting a demilitarization of an M203 grenade launcher when it exploded.

Maravilla, who was a supervisor of EOD Team B, died in the explosion while Trases was wounded.

“They are bomb experts but accidents do happen," Aying said. “Maybe they encountered an error on the procedure and it exploded. It is a risky job.”

Both were rushed to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), where Maravilla was declared dead. Trases, who is suffering from multiple wounds, is still confined at the hospital where doctors had to amputate his right palm.

Aying said the Army’s EOD Battalion is conducting further investigation.

Aying added that the government will shoulder the hospitalization of Trases, and they will ask for assistance from the provincial government to help the families of the victims.

Meanwhile, Aying appealed to other law enforcement agencies to immediately turn over recovered bombs to the EOD for proper disposition.

Senior Inspector Benedicto Villarias, chief of Police Station 4 in Bacolod City, said the M203 grenade launcher exploded when the two soldiers were about to dismantle it outside their barracks.

Maravilla and Trases were the only persons inside the EOD shop when the explosion occurred.

Villarias said that Maravilla covered the grenade with his own body to protect his 10-year old son who was standing near the shop.