Middleborough police officer seriously injured by explosion during SWAT training

MIDDLEBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - A Middleborough police officer was seriously injured in an explosion during a regional police training exercise in Bridgewater Wednesday morning.

The officer, whose name was not released, suffered a hand injury at around 11 a.m. during a training program on the exterior grounds of MCI Bridgewater. The injury was confirmed in a statement from Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT Unit Control Chief James Donovan, Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte and Middleborough Police Chief Jason Perkins.

The officer was treated at the scene and a medical hospital was called but could not fly because of the weather. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston via ambulance. He seriously injured his hand and underwent surgery Wednesday and is expected to be OK.

A preliminary investigation indicates the injured officer was using a 37 mm projectile launcher loaded with training rounds when the device exploded in his hands. At this time, investigators believe the device malfunctioned.

“While not carried by officers in the normal course of their duties, the 37mm launcher is used for a variety of SWAT operations including smoke screens, high visibility flares, decoy noisemaker rounds, ‘Flash Bang’ style stun grenades, and training rounds that emit smoke and/or noise,” officials said in the statement.

Perkins said the officer “was conducting high-level training as a member of our region’s vital SWAT unit when what appears to be a terrible accident occurred that left him with serious injuries,” and added, “We wish our officer all the best as he receives treatment for his wounds.”

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