At least four children are injured in an incident at an arms fair in the city of Chernigov
Live ammunition exploded during a weapons exhibition in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chernigov on Saturday, injuring at least five people, including four children, some of them seriously, according to the prosecutor general’s office. Local media reported a higher count, saying four adults and four children were injured.
The incident occurred during a walk outside the “weapons show” in the hands of a local museum. According to media reports, a 10-year-old boy was playing with an anti-tank weapon, believed to be a Soviet-made RPG-18 single-use rocket-propelled grenade.
The boy reportedly pointed the gun at his 12-year-old brother and discharged it, injuring his brother and several bystanders, including a 2-year-old boy. Apparently, all of the injured were hit only by the exhaust of the weapon, as the ammunition was fired and hit the roof of a house, according to local authorities.
It was not immediately clear if the boy was able to prepare the grenade launcher on his own or if the weapon was displayed in its battle-ready state. Such RPGs must be deployed before use and, once in that state, have no security features.
Ukrainian officials have provided conflicting accounts of the incident and the exact nature of the weapons display. According to prosecutors, the event was organized by a local territorial defense unit, displaying its own weaponry.
The head of the local civil-military administration, Vyacheslav Chaus, claimed the origins of the “dangerous exhibits” were not clear and the entire event was organized to provide a “interactive” kids experience.
However, the Chernigov city council insists that it was not aware of the event and did not give permission to hold it. Some media reported that the show was organized by unspecified “volunteers,” who held a fundraiser to purchase combat vehicles for the Ukrainian troops.