April 7, 2018 / 3:11 AM / 6 months ago

Teenager dies from explosion of makeshift cannon in Wyoming: report

(Reuters) - A 14-year-old boy in rural Wyoming who was building a small cannon using instructions from YouTube videos died after the contraption exploded, a local newspaper reported on Friday.

The cannon misfired late on Thursday as Archie Pearce was assembling its components, in an abandoned lot in the northern Wyoming community of Recluse, the Gillette News Record reported.

A 12-year-old child who was with Pearce was later treated at a hospital for minor flash burns. They were building the device as an experiment, with no intent to cause harm, Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny told the newspaper.

“They were in over their heads, trying to do something they shouldn’t have been doing,” Matheny added.

The teenager packed gun or fireworks powder too tightly into a 2-inch (5 cm) steel pipe and a projectile inside became stuck, resulting in the fatal explosion, Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kevin Theis told the News Record.

Representatives from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Michael Perry

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