Cannon Accidents From The Artilleryman Magazine

1996-2009 incidents followed by older, brief reports

Summer 2010 - Vol 31, No. 3


Vol. 17, No. 4, Fall 1996

Cannon Explosion. Medina, Ohio. July. Three inexperienced men were wadding a homemade steel double-barreled July fourth noisemaker, initially called a cannon, with hotdog rolls, firing “a type of substitute black powder used for muzzleloading rifles.”

It blew apart killing a man 50 feet to the rear who was hit in the head by a 4 oz. metal cap (welded to the end of one of the barrels) that bounced off the blacktop. The two survivors were sentenced to two years of community supervision for possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.

Mortar Explosion. Litchfield, Mich. July. A homemade 10-inch galvanized pipe mortar, mounted on a bracket to launch golf balls exploded. The bracket lodged in the victim’s body and he bled to death.


Vol. 18, No. 3  Summer 1997

Premature Ignition. Demopolis, Ala. Associated Press reported Billy Gibbs, 17, was ramming and sponging a 12 pdr. Napoleon at a March reenactment. He had rammed a pound of black powder down the barrel.

“I was in charge of getting the sparks out,” he told the reporter. “I rammed the charge down, felt a loud flash and the ramrod took most of my hand off.”

According to an orthopedic surgeon, the hand lost a thumb, the tops of the other fingers were badly damaged and the two major nerves of the hand were “totally blasted apart.” The doctor said, “It was worst than anything I’ve seen, even in the Gulf War.” The hand was amputated and Gibbs has been fitted with a myoelectric artificial hand.


Vol.19, No. 1  Winter 1997

Premature Ignition. Biglerville, Pa. The Baltimore Light Artillery on Sept. 20 was giving its twice-a-year reenactment for passengers on the Gettysburg Railroad. The No. 1 man suffered a broken arm, dislocated shoulder, loss of three fingers and thumb joint and was hospitalized three weeks.

The crew was short-handed and the No. 1 man was not there to make the charges, which contained one pound of powder instead of the usual half pound. They used a new worm and a new man was worming the mountain howitzer. They were firing more rapidly than usual.

The man thumbing the vent suffered a sprained thumb and burns.

Premature Ignition. North College Hill, Ohio. A 14-year-old in the position of No. 1 man lost sight in one eye, suffered a fractured hand, lower arm damage and loss of palm tissue after an Oct. 19 premature ignition.

His McCalister’s Battlers unit was rapid firing a three-quarter-scale 12 pdr., primed with .22 blanks. Charges of 10 ounces of FFFg sporting grade black powder plus 11.5 ounces of flour for smoke effect wrapped in three layers of foil were found in the ammunition box. A video showed the previous shot was 26 seconds earlier and no dry sponging was seen.

The victim was tamping the charge. The video showed he was wearing a welder’s glove and holding the rammer one-handed and palm up. The gun was positioned on a hill where he could not step away. The video showed him tumbling 18 feet down the slope.

Part of the shattered rammer flew 100 yards over the heads of troops. A police officer on an adjacent battery’s crew planned to get bulletproof vests, Kevlar glove liners and safety goggles for future events.


Vol.19, No. 2  Spring 1998

Cannon Explosion. New Orleans, La. The Associated Press reported a homemade cannon of steel casing with a fuse, into which black powder was poured and tamped, blew apart with a piece of shrapnel nearly taking off a youngster’s arm.


Vol.19, No. 4  Fall 1998

Grenade Explosion. Hillsboro, Ore. A man was killed in May when his homemade grenade blew up. He had filled a pineapple grenade shell with black powder. The victim had demolition training in the National Guard and a commercial explosives license, but had not worked with black powder.

Police said noting happened when the victim first pulled the pin, so he took the grenade apart, fiddled with it and put it back together. It blew up in his hand, send shrapnel into his head and body.


Vol.20, No. 1  Winter 1998 

Powder Explosion. Booneville, Miss. Two boys, 13 and 14, were injured when black powder in an ammunition box exploded on Oct. 17. One received second- and third-degree burns to his hands, arms, and to the lower portion of his face. The second, who was standing about three to five feet away from the box, received second- and third-degree to his arms and chest.

They were with the 4th Alabama Dismounted Cavalry crew doing cannon-firing demonstrations with a three-quarter-scale field piece during a festival. The powder charges were wrapped in plastic. Investigators assumed smoldering wadding fell into the box. The boys’ clothing, grass and hay bales caught fire.

The day was windy, the crew was wadding with wet paper towels, the gun was fired into the wind and the ammo box lid was open, exposing four or five pounds of powder.


Vol. 20, No. 2  Spring 1999

Powder Explosion.     Nashville, Ga. An SCV commander received facial injuries and singed hair when powder exploded as he was making up blank charges (October 1998). The victim was bracing a foil cartridge case with a 2-inch piece of PVC pipe and pouring powder from a plastic bag.

Static electricity was assumed to be the cause of the explosion as he poured the fourth charge. “Pouring” black powder in quantity is not recommended and plastic and glass should not be used.


Vol. 20, No. 4  Fall 1999

Cannon Explosion. Cassopolis, Mich. An 80-year-old miniature cannon loaded with Pyrodex, in an amount said to be equivalent to 1.5 sticks of dynamite, blew apart. A piece of metal from the cannon killed a woman 100 yards away. It reportedly was fired every year, making a loud noise and vibrating the ground.

The gun’s owner was sentenced to 330 days in jail, paid a fine and funeral costs and was put on two years’ probation after pleading no contest to reckless discharge of a firearm causing death, a high misdemeanor.

Premature Ignition. Battle Ground, Wash. A man was tamping gunpowder into a homemade cannon, a 3-inch diameter pipe about a foot-and-a-half long welded to a flat plate with a hole in the bottom of the vent.

A spark set it off, shooting the rammer at the victim who lost a hand and finger on the other hand. Police found a homemade shoulder-mounted pipe resembling a bazooka, two pipe bombs, film canisters filled with explosives, and fuses, all for recreation use, at his house.


Vol. 21, No. 4  Fall 2000

Premature Ignition. Ketchum, Idaho. On Sept. 9 a 15-year-old replica muzzleloader that was being fired by the American legion post before a parade went off prematurely. The man who was ramming lost all of the fingers on his right hand and had facial burns.

According to news accounts he was reloading “immediately following” firing. The post commander said they usually loaded “one-third of a pound of powder, followed by white flour and a small amount of diesel fuel to create a smoke cloud.”

The newspaper quoted the commander saying they would re-examine procedures and “might include a wet swabbing of the barrel between shots.”

A witness said the crew had set off an earlier charge with a cigarette lighter after a fuse failed.


Vol. 22, No. 4  Fall 2001

Fatal Ignition. Trenton, Mo. A football player’s father was killed on Sept. 7. The game was called due to bad weather. As it was being loaded up, two men noticed the cannon, which was always reloaded after firing, had not been fired. The lanyard was pulled accidentally when someone stepped on it or the wheel went over it. The victim was standing at the muzzle.

Fatal Accident. Altoona, Pa. A 9-year-old was killed at a July 3 party in, when a “makeshift cannon” flew 120 feet hitting the boy in the face. The missile was a 3-foot piece of ¾-inch steel loaded with gunpowder and a marble lashed to a 2 x 4 board with bent door hinges.

Cannon Explosion. Butler Township, Pa. Another July Fourth fatal accident occurred when a steel pipe with a welded cap exploded on the third shot. The “cannon” had been fired for several years and for two earlier shots. In an attempt to get more bang, it was packed with smokeless powder for the third shot.    

Shrapnel hit a 22-year-old in the chest and killed him instantly. A 7-year-old was hit in the thighs and hospitalized for two days. The victims’ families asked that criminal charges not be brought.


Vol. 23, No. 4 Fall 2002

Cannon Explosion. New Haven, Ill. A recently purchased “Civil War type” cannon that was fired earlier in the day of July 13, was fired around 12:30 a.m. on the 14th. The first shot was a “dud,” and the gun was reloaded with smokeless powder and wadding.

The gun was described as a 4-foot long, 6-inch diameter steel-lined barrel. It exploded on the second shot, with shrapnel killing one man and wounding eight other people.

Premature Ignition. Reader report on 1996 accident in New South Wales, Australia. Old Sydney Town theme park had two 4 pdrs. which costumed employees fired with wadding. During loading one of the guns fired prematurely.

The man stopping the vent had finger burns and temporary deafness while the two in front suffered temporary deafness, burns and lacerations. The park owner was prosecuted for occupational and health safety act violations. The park pleaded guilty to one charge, was fined $35,000 and reduced cannon firing to once a day.

Among safety violations: failure to worm properly, failure to adequately wet and dry sponge, failure to ensure that at least 3 minutes elapsed between firing and loading a new charge, failure to ensure that the person ramming held the rammer underhand with one hand and thumb to the side, failure to ensure that the person stopping the vent was wearing a leather thumbstall or pliable leather glove, and failure to ensure that no one was in front of the muzzle line during ramming.


Vol. 24, No. 4 Fall 2003 & Vol. 25, No. 2 Spring 2004

Cannon Explosion. Tillamook, Ore. A 16-year-old Boy Scout was killed Aug. 1 when a cannon he was firing as part of the scout camp’s daily evening flag ceremony blew apart and he was hit with shrapnel.     The cannon was described as having a bore of 1.25 to 1.5 inches and had misfired. Rag and potato wadding were reported.

Oregon OSHA investigated and reported the cast iron 3-foot cannon was believed to be from England. It fined the camp $11,500 for various violations. “A key element in the explosion was the use of fine-grained, fast-burning powder that is normally used in muzzle-loaded pistols.”

Also, “Adding to the stress on the cannon's barrel was a 35mm film canister half-filled with sand, which was being used as a projectile.”

OSHA compared the camp’s artillery procedures with those of the American Artillery Association and found scout leaders had no formal training and used “guesswork.” The camp’s training video, which showed someone standing in front of the barrel to load, and no use of hearing protection, didn’t cover the amount of propellant or use of a rammer.

The cannon was intended to be fired with a fuse, but since the firing had to happen at a specific time during the evening flag-lowering ceremony, the scouts use priming powder in the vent.


Vol. 25, No. 3 Summer 2004

Cannon Explosion. Columbia, Mo. Fraternity members blew apart a repro cannon loaded with fireworks sending an 8-inch piece of metal through an apartment roof across the street. The chuck went through a floor and into a room full of people. A lower-floor window was broken and the brick exterior was embedded with debris.


Vol. 25, No. 4 Fall 2004

Cannon Explosion. LaRue, Ohio. Two men were killed by shrapnel on July 3 after a homemade steel cannon exploded. One was 77 feet away and the other 144 feet away from the gun.

The sheriff described the piece as a 12-14-inch stainless steel tube with 2-inch bore welded on a steel plate. It was loaded with gunpowder and pieces of bread as wadding. The cannon had been fired two dozen times the day before.

The  owner pleased guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, five years’ probation, 120 hours of community service and he paid for the funerals.


Vol. 27, No. 1 Winter 2005

Cannon Accident. Florida. Duffy Neubauer reported on his investigation into a 2000 salute cannon accident in a case in which he was retained as an expert witness for the prosecution.

The 21-inch gun with a 1.5-inch bore was fired daily at sunset by a restaurant patron using a barbecue grill lighter. On the night of the accident there was a wind that blew out the lighter. The patron was given a cigar, which he puffed to get a red glow before leaning over the vent.

The cannon fired, burning his face and embedding his face and one eye with powder granules. The suit was settled out of court days before the October trial was to begin.


Vol. 27, No. 4 Fall 2006

Projectile Explosion. Dalton, Ga. Relic dealer Lawrence Christopher was seriously injured when a Parrott shell he was drilling blew up. Law enforcement officials destroyed his projectile collection.

Cannon Explosion. Bethel, Vt. A 2-inch bore steel cannon that had been fired some 200 times before blew apart on July 4, killing a bystander 20 feet away.

Police said the two-year-old cannon was loaded with a palmful of shotgun powder, a paper towel wad, small cut pieces of dowels as projectiles and was lit by a fuse inserted in the rear. The victim was hit in the throat and wrist.


Vol. 28, No. 2 Spring 2007

Cannon Explosion. Snohomish, Wash. The Snohomish High School ceremonial cannon blew apart Oct. 6, 2006, at the start of a football game, injuring five Junior ROTC cadets, one seriously. The other four had temporary deafness.

 At an earlier firing students noticed the cannon sent up a cloud of smoke rather than the usual smoke rings. Metal shop students made the cannon in the mid-80s. A newspaper reported a stress fracture showing in an X-ray the year before.

Instead of rallying to the hospitalized boy’s support, he and his family were threatened and harassed by people who were afraid the cannon tradition would be ended;.


Vol. 28, No. 4 Fall 2007

Cannon Explosion. Littlerock, Wash. A boy, 8, was killed when his grandfather’s cannon blew apart on July 4. The cannon was reported to be 12-14 inches long and had been fired many times since the owner purchased it 20 years earlier at a garage sale.

A small piece of metal hit the boy and severed his aorta. The largest recovered fragment was 6-7 inches.


Vol. 29, No. 2 Spring 2008

Projectile Explosion. Chesterfield County, Va. Civil War relic dealer Samuel H. White was killed when a projectile he was disarming blew up. It was thought to be a 9-inch naval shell.

Police found a fragment in a house a quarter-mile away. Nearby homes were evacuated and half of White’s ordnance collection was destroyed.


Vol. 29, No. 3 Summer 2008

Cannon Explosion. The Bahamas. An antique cannon that had been fired on New Year’s Eve for at least 60 years blew apart. A woman 300 feet away suffered broken bones and internal injuries. Chunks of the barrel were found 800-1,000 feet away, where cars and a house were damaged.

A newspaper said the cannon was on a wooden stand, packed with old rags. Loose powder and a fuse in the powder chamber were to propel the rags over the water..

Cannon Explosion. Rochester, Wash. A small homemade cannon being fired for July 4 blew apart hurting three people, one critically with abdominal and leg injuries. Shrapnel was sent into nearby houses.

A news account described the cannon as a metal tube noisemaker with a bore diameter about the size of a broom handle, not meant to fire projectiles.


Vol. 30, No. 2 Spring 2009

Premature Ignition. Scott County, Ky. A man walked in front of a cannon as it was fired to celebrate a football game touchdown. His face, eye and ear were burned and more than 1,000 pieces of powder penetrated his skin.

Premature Ignition. Fort Thomas, Ky. A man suffered a serious hand injury when a cannon fired when the Highlands High School football team scores a touchdown fired unexpectedly. The gun was being reloaded after being fired at a pep rally.


Vol. 30, No. 4 Fall 2009

Premature Ignition. Thomasville, N.C. A man was seriously injured at a July 4 accident when the cannon he was standing in front of went off. He was using a plunger to pack gunpowder into the tube after the first attempt to fire did not work.

The homemade cannon was mounted on a wheeled carried. It fired liter bottles of ice.

Errant Missile. Lake George, N.Y. A man picnicking outside Fort William Henry received a leg fracture when a rammer was fired from a cannon at the fort. French and Indian War musket and cannon firings are part of the park’s interpretation program.



Recapitulation through 1995

1540 Premature Ignition. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado’s expedition pushed from Mexico as far east as Kansas. En route a No. 1 man lost his arm as a result of a cannon premature ignition.

1811 Premature Ignition.Portugal. No.1 man blown from the muzzle and into the harbor along with rammer. No. 3 man stopping vent had severely burned hand.

1840 Premature Ignition. U.S. sailor killed while priming the vent directly from a priming horn.

1841 Premature Ignition. U.S. War Department directed the Ordnance Board to find a way to stop premature ignitions which were killing so many men during artillery drills.

“The accidental explosions of cannon by which many lives and limbs are lost annually, are generally caused by fragments of the burning cartridge from a previous discharge remaining in the gun and which are not extinguished before the next charge is inserted.”

Capt. (later General) Benjamin Huger, Secretary of the Ordnance Board, recommended: “Care should be taken not to use a very wet sponge. If it is slightly dampened it may do no harm, but it is far safer to use the sponge dry that when it contains water, for if the water is squeezed out it remains in the bottom of the bore.

The free use of water in sponging is the frequent cause of accidental explosion. None but careful, sober men and well instructed, should be allowed to sponge a gun or serve a vent.”

1843 Premature Ignition. One man was killed and one was blinded  when cannon fired while reloading.

1844 Premature Ignition. New York. Hemstead Light Guards practicing rapid fire, fired 7 rounds in 1 minute killing No. 1 man.

1859 Premature Ignition. Barnstable County, Mass. Premature ignition took off both arms and one eye of the No. 1 man.  

1862 Premature Ignition. Perryville, Ky. Samuel Decker, 4th U.S. Artillery, lost both arms while serving gun during battle.

1863 Premature Ignition. Cape Cod, Mass. Man loading gun was severely burned when it suddenly discharged at July 4 celebration.

1863 Premature Ignition. Webster, Mass. A new 6 pdr. acquired for firing on Independence Day and for Union victories was being test fired on July 16. As the sixth round was being rammed the gun fired. The man holding the rammer died a week later. An inquest determined the people who knew how to fire the gun had left and the charge was loaded before the bore was sponged.

1865 Premature Ignition. Harwichport, Mass., two veteran soldiers killed, one lost both arms and one badly burned, on firing a town-owned cannon to celebrate the end of the Civil War.

1865 Premature Ignition. Sudbury, Mass., former infantryman lost both arms and one eye while firing town cannon to celebrate end of the Civil War. Another man was killed (probably hit by rammer).

1865 Premature Ignition. Concord, Mass., the No. 1 man lost his arm to premature ignition while firing July 4 salutes.

1871 Premature Ignition. The No. 1 man lost his hand during town celebration ceremonial firing in Massachusetts.

1872 Premature Ignition. Davenport, Iowa. Two men injured in different premature ignitions of two different guns at July 4 celebration. One had his arm amputated while ramming powder charge and the other was severely burned and blinded in one eye.

1872 Premature Ignition. July 7, Galena, Ill. No. 1 man suffered broken arm and burns from chin to thigh from cannon going off while loading.

1872 Premature Ignition. Cleveland, Ohio. No. 1 man received severe burns when gun fired unexpectedly while loading.

1879 Premature Ignition. Brisbane, Australia. Two men were killed when the Queensland Volunteer Artillery Brigade No. 3 Garrison Battery took part in a 17-gun salute on Jan. 15. The 24 pdr. Carron was being fired by a crew of six, instead of the usual nine, since it was firing blanks.

An inquest determined that inadequate sponging caused the premature ignition which killed two of the crew who were blown down a bank with their clothing on fire. One had head and chest injuries and the other lost his arm. The man thumbing the vent suffered an injured thumb.

1881 Premature Ignition. Acton, Mass. An untrained crew of Civil War veterans firing salutes from a borrowed cannon on July 4 had a premature ignition and one man lost his hand.

1882 Cannon Explosion. Lancaster, Pa. Two men were killed when the town cannon blew up after being double charged for a local celebration.

1897. Errant Shot. St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. The St, Kilda Battery’s 32. Pdr. needed to be re-vented after a steel broke in the vent. Two men loaded up to ¾ pound of powder and four round shot into the tube which was off its carriage and on a sand hill.

Manual instructions for dislodging a vent spike called for loading a powder charge half the shot’s weight, laying a leader of quick-match along the bore and double-shotting the gun “introducing the shot, however, most carefully.” Then a piece of slow-match was to be attached to the end of the quick-match for easy and safe firing.

The men forgot to point the muzzle toward the ocean and away from the suburbs where two rounds caused damage to houses and yards.

Early 1900s Premature Ignition.Beaumont, Texas. The Revolutionary War Jasper Rifles’ Civil War period cannon fired prematurely, blowing off the arm of a nearby newspaper reporter. Years later a witness told a newspaper that the commander, former Confederate Capt. E.I. Kelly, wept and repeatedly said, “I didn’t even touch a match to it.” The cannon was left on the Orange County courthouse square. It is a M1857 12.-pdr. Napoleon cast by Revere Copper Co. in 1863.

1913 Cannon Explosion. New Mexico. Several people badly injured when cannon exploded during celebration.

1961-1965 Premature Ignition. Two premature ignitions on National Park Service property, one at Gettysburg, during the Civil War Centennial celebrations resulted in permanent ban on live firing at NPS sites without strict supervision and regulations imposed by Park Service.

1967 Premature Ignition. Connecticut. Boy Scout lost arm while serving as No. 1 man on gun crew during an event held at a stadium. Crew had previously participated in many competitive shooting events.

1970s Powder Explosion. Michigan. One killed, another injured as vent debris from a mortar firing was suspected of touching off limber chest while lid was open.

1970s Premature Ignition. New Orleans, La. No. 1 man lost both hands due to premature ignition at football game.

1974 Premature Ignition. Northfield, Vt. A cadet lost an arm while serving as No. 1 man for two original bronze 6 pdrs. at Norwich University graduation ceremonies.

1977 Premature Ignition. Concord, Mass. Man lost one hand and most of another during Memorial Day ceremonies.

1977 Premature Ignition. New Jersey. Man lost hand and rammer flew over heads of opposing troops during Revolutionary War reenactment.

1981 Premature Ignition. San Diego, Calif. Man lost hand to rapid fire during reenactment of Battle of San Diego Bay.

1981 Powder Explosion. Pittsburgh, Pa. 19 injured, one broken ankle, 11 transported to hospital when limber chest of Revolutionary War-era gun blew up while crew was firing pyrotechnic projectiles directly up in the air as part of waterfront celebration.

1982 Premature Ignition. Cannon fired at football games and ceremonies at a military school was overloaded and fired remotely. February explosion wrecked a car and sent fragments through a dormitory window.

1983 Premature Ignition. Provo, Utah. July 4, man lost both hands and one forearm plus the sight of one eye. Two others injured. Rapid fire, mixed charge container types involved.

1983 Premature Ignition. Gun went off unexpectedly as spectator tripped over lanyard during waterfront celebration. Crewmember required 4 hours of surgery.

1984 Premature Ignition. Long Island, N.Y. July 4, cannon owner critically injured following explosion of 1820s era cannon during parade ceremonies.

1985 Premature Ignition. Lily, S.D. Man killed when reloading after firing original Napoleon from parade float.

1985 Premature Ignition. Toronto, Canada. Man lost one hand and an eye during display of rapid fire at a national park.

1985 Cannon Explosion. Hampton, Va. Overloaded cannon exploded wrecking a car, taking down a food concession tent and breaking bystander’s shoulder as well as injuring several crew members.

1986 Cannon Explosion. Milford, N.H. July 4, cannon was loaded with smokeless powder. Explosion sent shrapnel into stomach of bystander and cannon owner suffered severe damage to his legs.

1987 Premature Ignition. Tennessee reenactment. Man wearing heavy gloves and using tapered rammer was not seriously injured when a 12 pdr. mountain howitzer had a premature ignition.

1987 Powder Explosion. Norfolk, Va., three were seriously injured during a mock sea battle as a Chinese pirate junk’s ammunition supply for black powder cannon blew up when gun fired.

1987 Powder Explosion. Spain. Cannon and limber chest exploded, killing five people and injuring several more.

1989 Cannon Explosion. Sharon, Vt. Homemade cannon blew up, killing one man, injuring two.

1989 Cannon Explosion. San Antonio, Texas. Five people injured, two seriously, when cannon explodes.

1989 Cannon Explosion. Havana, Cuba. Old Spanish gun exploded during firing celebration. One killed, 24 people injured.

1990 Premature Ignition. Plymouth, Mass. Man severely injured and blown off back of flatbed truck when cannon he was firing had a premature ignition. Three others were hit by parts of the shattered rammer.

1990 Premature Ignition. Meriden, Conn. Larry Cook, maker of cannons and mortars, was injured when mortar went off as he had his head over the barrel.

1990 Premature Ignition. San Diego, Calif. Boy, 13, lost finger and needed extensive surgery to hand after premature ignition of cannon.

1990 Cannon Explosion. Sparta, N.J. Man killed when cannon exploded after being overloaded during firing at a lakeside party.

1992 Cannon Explosion. California. One man killed when unlined cannon exploded during firing.

1992 Cannon Explosion. Man had toes blown off and his boot was found 40 feet away after cannon exploded.

1992 Premature Ignition. England. Man lost eye and suffered burns when cannon went off as he hit ramming charge.

1993 Premature Ignition. Temple, Texas. A man firing a steel-pipe mortar with powder in plastic bags, and not wearing gloves, lost three fingers and needed his hand amputated.

1993 Cannon Explosion. England. Two men injured when cannon exploded due to overloading.

1993 Cannon Explosion. New Hampshire. Man was killed when a homemade cannon exploded.

1993 Premature Ignition. Michigan. Man lost hand as he was ramming a cannon using a hammer and a stick.

1994 Fire Ignited. England. Cannon wadding ignited a field during a public demonstration and 20 people were treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

1995 Cannon Explosion. Michigan. One man was killed when cannon exploded and he was hit by pieces.

1995 Premature Ignition. Man lost an eye to a premature discharge of cannon while serving as No. 1 man.

1995 Cannon Accident. Florida. Man lost an eye while firing potatoes out of a cannon when he got his head over the bore.