Homemade Cannon Blast Kills Woman In Iowa During Backyard Gathering With Friends

A homemade cannon blast killed a woman in Iowa on Saturday. The Des Moines Register reports that Lori L. Haims, 55, of Edgewood was at a backyard gathering with friends in Greeley around 11:40 p.m. when the cannon exploded. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Investigators with the Delaware County Sheriff's Department say the cannon was loaded and fired out fragments from the rear portion of the barrel that struck Heims, with one of them hitting her in the head.

According to the report, Heims was rushed to a hospital in Manchester before being transported to Iowa City where she later died.

No further details have been provided on the homemade cannon incident. It is not mentioned why there was a homemade cannon at the residence or who constructed it.

This is not the only case of someone getting harmed from explosions. CNN reports that man's foot was blown off in Central Park on Sunday afternoon. A bomb squad from the NYPD is currently investigating the cause of the explosion. So far it appears that the device was an "experiment with fireworks or homemade explosives," NYPD Deputy Chief John O'Connell said at a news conference.

"We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial-grade fireworks," O'Connell said.

He added that are no "specific or credible threats" aimed at Fourth of July celebrations or New York in general. The chief deputy did say that it common for people attempting to make homemade fireworks this time of year. He calls these activities "completely unadvisable."

Those who heard the blast describe it as traveling through the park like a "cannon." Birds were seen scattering off trees. Many people assumed it was a firework since it is the Fourth of July.

O'Connell identified the victim as an 18-year-old tourist from northern Virginia who was at the park with two friends other friends. The explosion was set off after all three of them jumped off a rock in the park, which set off the blast around 11 a.m. One of the young men was severely injured, losing his foot after he was transported to Bellevue Hospital in serious but stable condition. He underwent surgery.

Relatives identify the victim as Connor Golden from Fairfax.

It is noted the report that Golden's two friends are not suspects in the bomb explosion.

Upon examining the evidence, bomb squad commanding officer Lt. Mark Torre has determined that the Central Park bomb was likely the work of "amateur hobbyists" who were thought to be experimenting with explosives during the holiday weekend. He thinks the explosive device was in the park for more than a day.

The good news is Torre does not have reason to believe that the bomb was placed in its location to intentionally harm anyone. More than likely someone placed it there and left it when it did go off.

"Clearly, I would say that this is somebody that had knowledge of chemistry. But you don't have to be anything more than good with computers to get enough knowledge of chemistry to be able to create something of this type... from readily available materials, unfortunately," he said. "This is clearly explosive material. But there's nothing to indicate that this was an explosive device that was placed or put in this area with a specific intent to harm any individuals."

Central Park reopened after the explosion incident, with exception to the area where the bomb went off.

Aside from the homemade cannon blast killing a woman in Iowa and the Central Park bomb blowing a man's foot off, a 9-year-old girl lost her hand and fingers to an illegal firework. She also suffered severe facial injuries, as the Inquisitr reported.

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