Novice hurt trying to defuse cherry bomb at Banglamung temple

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A Buddhist novice who tried to defuse three ping pong bombs at Nongketnoi Temple was injured last week when a nearby open flame ignited the gunpowder.

Patsapong Sukharam, 17, suffered burns to his face and neck. He was taken to the Baan Nong Hua Rad clinic for treatment.

Patsapong told police he was sweeping the temple grounds around 8:30 a.m. when he found the crudely made cherry bombs. Wanting to prevent others from getting hurt, he decided to drain the ping pong balls of their gunpowder himself.

Unfortunately, rather than call the bomb squad, he did the work near a fire burning on the temple grounds. Wind carried a steam of powder toward the flame and ignited it.

Police kept the other two devices as evidence. They believe locals youths made the bombs, then changed their mind and disposed of them at the temple.