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Virginia Trooper, Firefighters Injured in Explosion

ALLISON T. WILLIAMS
Courtesy of Suffolk News-Herald


A state trooper and four Suffolk firefighters suffered minor injuries when an explosive device accidentally went off in the North Suffolk Public Safety Building Tuesday night.

Trooper DeShawn Melton, 30, had stopped by the Bridge Road building after leaving the National Night Out festivities in Smithfield to transfer some equipment to a state vehicle kept in north Suffolk, said Sgt. D.S. Carr, spokesman for the Virginia State Police. Melton, a 15-year state police veteran, was moving a flash-bang - a explosive device used by the agency's SWAT team to provide light and sound - into another vehicle when it detonated in his right hand, said Carr.

Melton lost his right index finger and is still in Chesapeake General Hospital, Carr said. The injury won't end Melton's career as a state trooper, he added.

"He will learn to adjust," he said.

Four Suffolk firefighters standing nearby received minor injuries - three reported ringing ears due to loud noise, one was hit by a small piece of flying debris, Carr added.

They were treated and released from local medical facilities.

The city would not release the names of the injured firefighters, citing it would be a violation of the city's medical privacy policy.
 
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