Polish National Police Commander Jaroslaw Szymczyk has confirmed to local media that he accidentally fired a grenade launcher, believed to be an RGW-90, in his office at the national headquarters on Wednesday that he received as a gift during a recent visit to Ukraine.
While speaking with RMF FM radio, Szymczyk stated that “When I was moving the used grenade launchers, which were gifts from the Ukrainians, there was an explosion. The explosion was powerful – the force of the impact went through the floor and damaged the ceiling.” Szymczyk added that the launcher was set off when he was trying to display it vertically against a wall in his office. The blast lightly wounded him and a civilian employee at the headquarters.
While speaking with Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Szymczyk later said that he felt like a victim, explaining that he was assured the launcher was inert.
He said that after a meeting with the State Service of Ukraine for Emergency Situations “General Bondar said that he had such a souvenir for us. It was a similar tube from a used grenade launcher. who invited us to a room where various items of used weapons from their daily service were collected. These are neutralized shells, grenade launchers, elements of tanks and planes.”
When asked if he ever considered the weapon might have been armed, Szymczyk said that “We asked if the equipment is safe, because we will be returning across the border, or if we can transport it. We were assured that yes, because this device is without explosives, that it is scrap.”
“If I can blame myself for anything, it’s that I trusted too much. But I can’t imagine not trusting the services we work with in such a partnership,” he added.
Initial reports by Polish media suggested that Szymczyk fired the launcher into another room when trying to show it off during a meeting, but this remains unconfirmed. Following the incident, Poland’s Ministry of Interior also reported that an “explosion occurred in a room adjacent to the office,” which contradicts Szymczyk statements.
So far The Polish government has not provided any official updates. Likewise, no photos of the damage have been published.