The Michigan State Police Flint Post is investigating an explosion that occurred Saturday, February 6, at approximately 7:30 p.m. A 26-year-old Hartland man was seriously injured and later died at Hurley Medical Center because of an explosion at a baby shower in Genesee County.
During the baby shower, a small cannon type device was fired in the back yard to celebrate the baby’s pending arrival. When the cannon was fired by the home owner, the cannon itself blew up causing metal shrapnel to strike three parked vehicles, the garage where the baby shower was being held, and the 26-year-old Hartland man who was standing nearby. The injured man was rushed to Hurley hospital, where he died from the injuries.
Michigan State Police Flint Post personnel were assisted on scene by the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, Gaines Township Fire Department, and Med Star Ambulance. The investigation is still underway.
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Evan Thomas Silva from Hartland. The cannon that was fired at the event was similar to a Signal Cannon, more commonly used now as a novelty item. The homeowner had purchased the cannon at an auction prior to the event and had fired the cannon several times prior. The cannon is designed to create a big flash, a loud noise and create smoke. The cannon did not contain any projectiles, but it is suspected that the gun powder loaded into the device caused the cannon to fracture, resulting in shrapnel being spread in the area. Four to five people were outside of the residence when the cannon was fired but the victim was the only person struck at about 10-15 feet away from the cannon location.
Following a complete investigation, the case will be sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor for review.