Tourist in Puerto Rico injured by live munition
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico said Friday that a young tourist was burned after she picked up an old shell containing white phosphorous dropped by the U.S. Navy when it used the island of Culebra for bombing practice.
The accident occurred as the girl's family waited to board the ferry in Culebra to return to the main island of Puerto Rico on Thursday, police officer Mario Alvarez told The Associated Press.
"She was carrying it in her hand," he said. "It dropped on the floor and activated itself."
The girl was burned, although the extent of her injury was unclear, Alvarez said. Authorities said they believe the girl was 7 years old, but her name and exact age were unknown because her family initially refused medical treatment for her in Culebra.
She was later taken to a hospital after arriving at the northeast coastal town of Fajardo in Puerto Rico, Alvarez said.
The shell was found on the hugely popular beach of Flamenco, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. Alvarez said the girl picked up the shell near a rusty military tank that sits along the beach's western point and has long served as a backdrop for photographs.
He said FBI agents and police arrived in Culebra Friday to detonate the shell, as well as six other live bombs found near where the girl picked up the shell.
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