Panic over ‘grenade’ mars bar exams’ last day
A COMMOTION marred the last day of the bar exams Sunday after a base of a used party popper that was left in front of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) was mistaken for a grenade.
Insp. Arnold Santos, chief of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) explosive and ordnance division, said many among the crowd of about 10,000 panicked and ran away after someone said, “Granada (grenade), granada.”
Some of the railings that marked the boundary between the crowd and the gate of UST on España Avenue were toppled, as the people scampered away.
Supt. Lannan Muarip, head of MPD Sampaloc station, said it happened about 5:40 p.m. There was no explosion at all as none of the party poppers went off.
“Someone just panicked after seeing the base of a party popper, but that person has yet to be identified,” Muarip said.
In 2010, an MK2 fragmentation grenade, lobbed by Anthony Nepomuceno of Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, exploded on Taft Avenue on the last day of the bar exams at De La Salle University.
Around 50 people were hurt, including two law students, whose legs were amputated. One of them, Raissa Laurel, was a bar taker this year.
Santos said he saw the base after the site was cleared.
At first sight, Santos knew it was part of a party popper. He said a lot of people would often call the explosive and ordnance division to report a grenade-looking object in trash bins. The objects turned out not to be grenades at all.
On Sunday, the police deployed a bomb-sniffing dog to the site at UST.
“It’s a black plastic that really looks like a grenade,” Santos said.
One elderly man was taken to hospital as a result of the commotion, Muarip said.
The man was not hurt but suffered from high blood pressure and asthma attack.
Five to 10 minutes after the commotion, people returned to the revelries for the bar takers.