Make-shift cannon explosion causes injuries, damage in Ohio


LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – It was a busy night on East Grant Street in Lowellville Saturday night, not too far from the Mount Carmel Festival.

There were several parties going on, including one at the home of Brock Donatelli.

But the fun was interrupted by a blast around 10:30 p.m. when someone set off a homemade cannon in the park across the street from Donatelli’s house.

“It was a huge explosion. I mean ear deafening; something like the military would use to try to incapacitate people – ringing eardrums. It was very loud,” Donatelli said.

Police say the cannon was packed too tightly with black powder and that the explosion had the effect of a pipe bomb, blasting shrapnel across the street.

The Youngstown bomb squad was on the scene investigating Saturday night, and into Sunday morning, along with state and federal agents.

“You can see stuff went through the stop sign over there and the neighbor’s house over here. There were all kinds of stuff that went through his house. The cars look like something that went through a battle zone,” Donatelli said.

Three people had to go to the hospital with injuries, including one man who was grazed in the head and another who needed 39 stitches in his leg. Donatelli helped that victim by putting a tourniquet on his leg.

Donatelli says the person who set off the cannon was a man who showed up to his party uninvited.

Neighbors say they could hear other homemade explosives going off over the weekend.

Lowellville Police are still investigating, and they expect to file charges against whoever set off the cannon.

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