It may have been overpacked with gunpowder.
A Michigan man has been killed by a cannon at a baby shower.
26-year-old Evan Thomas Silva died in a freak accident on Saturday when he was struck by shrapnel after the gun unexpectedly exploded.
According to police, the party at Gaines Township was not a gender reveal; rather the parents were firing the cannon — which they had bought at an auction — to celebrate the new arrival.
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Investigators said the gun was akin to a novelty signal cannon, rather than a working weapon, and was supposed to produce a loud bang, a flash of light and a puff of smoke.
However they believe it may have been over-packed with gunpowder, essentially turning it into a bomb.
Silva was standing about 15 feet away in the back yard when the fuse was lit. The gun exploded, sending shrapnel everywhere.
Silva, a close friend of the expectant family, was struck by a metal shard in the chest; he was immediately rushed to Hurley Medical Center in nearby Flint, but succumbed to his injuries.
According to Michigan State Police, pieces of the cannon were found as far as 25ft away, piercing the garage and three parked cars, but no one else was injured.
“Similar to a signal cannon,” Lt. Liz Rich of the Michigan State Police told WJRT. “The cast material exploded and sent projectiles in all directions.”
“The homeowner reported… it had been shot several times,” Lt. Rich added. “If there aren’t regular inspections on a device like this, the cast material can wear away.”
State Police have forwarded the case to county prosecutors for further review.
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A GoFundMe set up to help Silva’s family with funeral costs confirmed he had been lost to “a sudden fatal accident”.
“He left behind many family members and friends who greatly miss him and are grieving,” the organizer wrote.
Sunday’s fatality is only the latest in an alarming trend of baby announcement mishaps and tragedies: the El Dorado wildfire in California last September — which claimed the life of a firefighter — is believed to have been sparked by a smoke generating-device at a gender reveal party.
A year previous, two Texans narrowly escaped with their lives when the plane they were using to dump 350 gallons of pink water stalled and crashed. The following month a 56-year-old grandmother was killed by shrapnel at a gender reveal party when the family inadvertently built a pipe bomb.
In 2017, an off-duty border patrol agent accidentally started a 47,000 acre fire that cost more than $8million in damage when he shot an explosive canister filled with blue powder.
“People are very creative in the gender reveals, but remember safety is always and should be number one,” Lt. Rich warned.
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