A man was killed and up to six people were reportedly injured in a hand grenade explosion inside a branch of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest commercial bank, in the city of Starobilsk in Luhansk Oblast some 615 kilometers southeast of Kyiv.

According to local police, the incident took place on May 17 at 4:30 p.m., and the bank’s killed client was the one to pull the grenade’s pin out.

“As a result of the explosion, the male individual was killed at the scene,” Tetyana Pogukai, the Luhansk Oblast police spokesperson, reported on her Facebook page later in the day.

“Five civilians suffered injuries of various severity, including two bank clerks and three (clients) who were present inside the bank’s branch. An operative officer of the Starobilsk police division was wounded too.”


All of the wounded were taken to hospital, and their lives were not in danger, she added.

Following the incident, the scene was isolated and closely investigated by law enforcers, as well as by the SBU security service, and explosives clearance experts.

Late on May 17, the PrivatBank press service released a statement shedding some more light on the incident’s circumstances.

“The client came to the bank unit with a grenade and tried to obtain a loan with forged papers,” the bank explained.

“After the police was called in (by bank officials), he tried to throw the grenade at the people, but got killed by explosion himself, having sustained fatal injuries.”

However, the bank claimed that none of its clients or clerks had been injured in the incident — except for a police officer who was shell-shocked, which contradicted the police statement.

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