CHINA / Regional

Grenade explosion kills 4 amid card brawl
By He Na (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-25 07:08

CHANGCHUN: Two people injured by a grenade explosion, which killed four people and injured two others on Wednesday evening in Meihekou, in Northeast China's Jilin Province, have been discharged from hospital, and the work of searching for more clues is underway, according to the local public security bureau.

"The cause of the explosion was quickly identified within 30 minutes and the investigation showed the tragedy was sparked by a quarrel during a game of cards," it said.

Police have found that three of the victims were killed on the spot, while the fourth one died in hospital on Thursday morning.

Two female passers-by were hurt by the blast.

Police identified the victims as Zhang Jun, a laid-off worker from a local grain depot; Liu Tao and Liu Hui, both staff from a local coal mine and Gao Ming, the suspect in the explosion.

"I heard a loud noise when I passed by the spot of the explosion. I guessed something had exploded and hurried to the front to see, I was really stunned," said a witness surnamed Xia.

There was a thick odour of powder in the air, and three men were lying on the ground surrounded by blood and pieces of clothes, he added.

According to the police, Gao Ming had his left leg badly hurt during the explosion but he fled the site after the blast.

Police soon found him in a hospital near the scene and located a round rusty metal lid in his pocket, which was a part of the grenade. Gao died on Thursday morning.

The other three victims had badly injured limbs from the grenade, and police said they thought the three had all tried to wrench the grenade from Gao's hands.

Police say the four regularly played cards together. On Wednesday morning they were playing as usual. Events unfolded as Liu took a long time choosing which cards to play and Gao became impatient and began to insult Liu, which caused the other two to fight. Gao returned home still feeling angry. Later he held a grenade to the three people and exploded it.

(China Daily 03/25/2006 page2)