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Western Michigan Man Dies After Homemade Cannon Explodes

CROTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A western Michigan man has died after a homemade cannon exploded while he was shooting it.

State police said Monday that a piece of metal may have struck 46-year-old Anthony Herman in the chest.

Herman, of Howard City, was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the scene in Newaygo County's Croton Township, north of Grand Rapids.

Neighbors tell WOOD-TV the cannon, which was made specifically to celebrate Independence Day, was being fired all day before the explosion.

"I kept hearing the cannon go off," Larry Jachim told the news station. "'Fire in the hole!' to alert everybody because it shakes the windows, and I'm about five houses down."

"They were just blowing the cannon off all through the day," added neighbor Dan Fitzgerald, "and I don't know if he packed it too full or something."

The explosion, which happened in front of several bystanders, sent shrapnel flying more than 150 yards toward neighboring homes, according to the report. Fitzgerald said a chunk of shrapnel gouged his yard and snapped the clothesline.

"When you make homemade things like that, it's an accident waiting to happen," he said.

No other injuries were reported.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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