A 12-year-old in Virginia died just before Christmas after a supposedly “inert” antique grenade exploded, according to investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The explosion happened on Dec. 23, approximately six months after the grenade was sold out of an antique mall in North Carolina, the ATF said in a statement.
Asher Hurley, 12, was killed in the explosion, the New York Times reports.
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The device was an MK2-style grenade akin to those used in the Second World War, the ATF said. It was purchased at the Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Shallotte, N.C., on June 13, and may have been one of several sold around that time.
“At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor the buyer(s) believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous,” the ATF said.
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It’s unclear whether the boy purchased the grenade himself.
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Investigators are still trying to trace other potential purchases from the mall, which caters to a tourist crowd who typically paid in cash. At least one other grenade was sold and has yet to be accounted for, a spokesperson for the ATF told the Times.
“There was only one other grenade sold the next day by the same vendor,” the mall said in a statement. “We all felt that the grenade was inert.”
The ATF is urging members of the public to get in touch if they purchased a grenade from the mall.
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