- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A man seeking treatment after a military practice grenade misfired and lodged in his leg prompted a bomb scare at a Birmingham hospital, where police confined the injured man to an ambulance until an Army bomb expert removed the device Saturday.

The 40mm grenade turned out to be a practice round that lacks the explosive power of those used in combat. But authorities said they didn’t know that until a bomb disposal technician dispatched from Fort Benning, Georgia, arrived at UAB Hospital and got a close look. Paramedics stayed through the night with the man in an ambulance parked outside the emergency room.

“Had it been high explosive, it could have taken that ambulance apart,” said Dave Hyche, a Birmingham supervisor for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The man told authorities he had been tinkering the practice grenade, which is designed to be fired from a launcher, at his home Friday evening when it activated and lodged in his thigh, Hyche said.

Police said the injured man was in his 60s. They did not immediately release his name.

He sought treatment at a hospital in Walker County before being taken by ambulance to Birmingham, al.com reported (https://bit.ly/1vZu3rN). Authorities said neither hospital would let him enter with a possible explosive device in his leg. Birmingham police closed off a street outside the hospital huntil the Army’s bomb technician removed the device at 6:50 a.m. Saturday.

“Paramedics stayed with the guy all night and saved his life,” Hyche said. “Had it been high explosive, it could have taken that ambulance apart.”

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