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Drunken Soldier Drops Grenade, Kills Eight

February 29, 1988

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A drunken soldier who was waving a grenade to threaten teen-agers at a town fair accidentally dropped it early today, killing eight people, including himself, and wounding more than 30 others, police reported.

Sixteen people were hospitalized with serious injuries after the explosion in Mae Cham, 50 miles south of the provincial capital of Chiang Mai, said Lt. Manit Juntanung of the Mae Cham police station.

Chiang Mai, in the province of the same name, is about 430 miles north of Bangkok.

Manit said Sgt. Maj. Phisanu Chuemai, 25, pulled the pin of the M-26 grenade and was threatening a group of teen-agers who had gotten into a dispute with fellow soldiers over dancing partners.

He fell and dropped the grenade at about 12:30 a.m., as the fair was winding down. About 500 participants were at the fair at the time, Manit said.

Manit said Phisanu was training rangers, or paramilitary units, at a nearby army camp. He quoted the camp commander as saying Phisanu had been drinking at the base and went to the fair after hearing about a fist fight between soldiers and teen-agers.

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