Police investigating deadly explosion at baby shower

GAINES TWP. — A 26-year-old Hartland man died Saturday when a ceremonial cannon blew up at a baby shower in Gaines Township.

Evan T. Silva was standing 10 to 15 feet from the cannon when the homeowner fired the device. The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. in the area of Seymour and Cook roads.

State police investigators say it appears the gunpowder loaded in the cannon caused it to explode. There were no projectiles in the cannon.

Metal shrapnel struck Silva, three vehicles and the garage, police said. Silva was one of four or five people outside at the time. He was the only person struck.

Investigators said the homeowner had purchased the cannon at an auction and fired it several times before the baby shower. It is designed to create a big flash, loud noise and smoke.

Following a complete investigation, detectives will forward a report to the Genesee County prosecutor for review.

Officers were assisted on scene by the state police Bomb Squad, Gaines Township Fire Department and Med Star Ambulance. — L.R.