A Middleborough, Massachusetts police officer is out of surgery and recovering at Mass General Hospital after he was seriously injured during a SWAT training accident in Bridgewater on Wednesday morning.
Bridgewater police and fire said they received a call shortly after 11 a.m. from a member of the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT team requesting an ambulance for an officer who had been injured in a training exercise on the grounds of MCI-Bridgewater prison.
When they arrived, emergency crews found a Middleborough police officer with a serious wound to one of his hands. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The officer's name is not being released by police.
Bridgewater police said preliminary investigation indicates that the officer was using a 37 mm projectile launcher loaded with training rounds to aid in the SWAT training exercise when the device exploded in his hands. Investigators believe the device malfunctioned.
"The officer was conducting high-level training as a member of our region’s vital SWAT unit when what appears to be a terrible accident occurred that left him with serious injuries," Middleborough Police Chief Joseph Perkins said. "We wish our officer all the best as he receives treatment for his wounds."
The 37 mm launcher is used for a variety of SWAT operations, police said, including smoke screens, flares, decoy noisemaker rounds, "flash bang" stun grenades and training rounds that emit smoke and noise.
The incident remains under investigation.