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Tulsa Man Blows Off His Fingers With Homemade Grenade

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At first neighbors though the explosion was a gunshot, police say. At first neighbors though the explosion was a gunshot, police say.
Police respond to an explosion Saturday night. Police respond to an explosion Saturday night.
The man rented space for a trailer from a resident in the 100 block of North New Haven. The man rented space for a trailer from a resident in the 100 block of North New Haven.
Tulsa police examine fragments from the exploded grenade. Tulsa police examine fragments from the exploded grenade.

Sacha Thomas, Dee Duren, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma - A man trying to make a homemade explosive device blew his fingers off Saturday night outside a house at Archer and New Haven.

Sergeant Steve Stoltz of the Tulsa Police Department said the man took an old Army surplus hand grenade that had been rendered inert and was trying to make it an explosive device again.

"He obviously didn't know what he was doing," Stoltz said.

Police first got the call from a home owner who rents space for a trailer to the man because the victim's house had burned down six months ago. No word on what caused that fire.

Stoltz said the homeowner heard the explosion and called it in.

"Nobody saw what happened. They just heard a loud bang. Everybody just assumed it was a gunshot and of course, he was out in the driveway yelling and screaming in pain, blood everywhere," said Stoltz.

"He just had this one inert Army Surplus grenade that he had dismantled and filled up with explosive material, probably black powder that you can buy commercially. There's no telling what caused the explosion," the sergeant said.

"If I were to guess it would be that while he was screwing the cap with fuse back on it, he sparked something which ignited the black powder.

"Black powder is slow burning so if it had been the actual powder that is used for grenades, he'd be dead," said Stoltz.

Tulsa Police collected the grenade fragments and said the man will likely be charged at a later date.

"In addition to being partially crippled, he'll probably be facing some prison time," Stoltz said. "But that's something that will be down the road."

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