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24 November 2011, 14:09
The dad of a 16 year old boy who's been left with a disfigured hand after the mortar round he was dismantling exploded has told Heart it could have been a lot worse.
Luke Stillman, who lives with his family in the village of Walgrave, had bought the ammunition off a website advertising specialist auction material. The advertisement claimed it was deactivated.
When his dad Terry heard the explosion he immediately ran upstairs to Luke's bedroom - he told us what he saw
''My son's hands were all covered in blood and he was shaking them around. He was shouting ans screaming and saying he'd lost his fingers and thought he'd lost his thumb as well.
''He's lost the pad of his index finger on his right hand and also the tip of his thumb on his right hand, some burns and shrapnel injuries and also an impact injury to his chest.''
Luke had to be taken to the specialist burns and plastic unit at Leicester General Infirmary for an operation.
Terry continues ''He's not allowed to buy any more ordnance, period, because there's no way of knowing if it is truly deactivated or not, you're just taking somebody's word. If anyone buys any of these things from a car boot sale or anything like that, it's potentially very dangerous.''
Police in Northampton are investigating offences under the Firearms Act. Detective Sergeant Andy Rogers says ''This incident could potentially have resulted in Luke sustaining a much more serious injury. As it was, his fingers were burned and the table he was sitting on was damaged. Anyone taking apart ordnance of any description should exercise the greatest care when doing so. Messing around with any ordnance is potentially very dangerous. If you discover ordnance of any description, steer clear and contact the police immediately.''