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Grenade explosion investigation continues

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

6pm update Tuesday, August 2nd:

There are many unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding the explosion, one that sent many people to the hospital when all was said and done.

A typically quiet street in Lynch found itself unusually busy Monday night.

"A bunch of kids coming out screaming," said Henry Eldridge, of Lynch.

Eldridge saw some of his kids running from the neighbor's house - outside.

"Their faces were puffy, red, swollen," said Eldridge.

He didn't know what was wrong. But when he tried to help he got stung by the tear gas too.

"Soon as it hit you, you just started itching. It was all over," said Eldridge.

His whole family had to go to the hospital.

Initial reports were that a meth lab exploded, but deputies say one of the children inside the home pulled the pin on a Vietnam-era grenade.

Luckily the house did not catch on fire.

"Once you pull the pin and hit the plunger, you've got a second and a half to three seconds," said Marvin Lipfird, Harlan County Sheriff.

"We have a lot to be thankful for because the potential for it to be worse than it was, was really out there," said Mike Nunley, Lynch Police Chief.

Authorities said the home will remain off-limits until it can be decontaminated.

That leaves many families in this neighborhood counting their blessings.

"It could have been more powerful," said Eldridge.

Detectives are still trying to determine why the grenade was in the home, how the kids got their hands on it, and if anyone will face charges.

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The investigation continues into a grenade explosion in Harlan County that sent more than twenty people, many of those being children, to the hospital.

Several of the neighborhood children who were playing in that home Monday afternoon spent the day recovering after being exposed to tear gas from a grenade.

One of those children apparently pulled the pin that caused a small explosion of the grenade.

After a few seconds, the children ran outside, affected by the powder of that device.

Those on scene immediately thought it was drug related.

“Well that is the initial information we were getting from first responders on the scene,” Lynch Police Chief Mike Nunley said.

A woman by the name of Katrina Hall lives at this house according to authorities. They also say the grenade belonged to a man named Jason North.

When it was all over, twenty people had to be hospitalized.

One girl was airlifted to a Tennessee hospital.

Officials say she is doing okay.


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