3 children burned by cannon fire during Orem parade

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OREM, Utah -- Three children were sent to the hospital over the weekend after being burned by cannon fire during a parade in Orem.

The patriotic cannon firing ceremony is a tradition during the city's Summer Fest Grand Parade. However, on Saturday one of the children participating in the ceremony opened up his pouch of gun powder at the exact wrong time.

"A spark went down into it, ignited it and there was an explosion, knocked three children onto the ground and caught their clothes on fire," said Orem Mayor Richard Brunst.

Brunst was in the parade and one of the first to arrive at the children's side.

"The kids were on the ground, they had blankets around them, they had taken their clothes, they had gotten rid of their burned clothes, the kids were very upset, you can see where they were flash burned and where it was burned on the pavement," Brunst said.

The children injured, one girl and two boys, are believed to be between the ages of 9 and 12. They were transported to the University of Utah Burn Center. One of the children has been released, while two others continue to be treated.

Brunst said fortunately surgery will not be required and they will be able to recover on their own accord.

FOX 13 asked the mayor if the city may discontinue the cannon firing ceremony in the future, due to Saturday’s accident.

"I personally have concerns over having gun powder live cannons that close, I've walked the parade several years, a lot of kids running around, a lot of families," Brunst said.

Brunst said the fate of the cannon firing ceremony will be made by the city as a whole. He expects a meeting regarding it at some point in the upcoming months.

The mayor also thanked all the public safety employees on hand that were able to treat the injured children so quickly.


  • Kristie

    As a NPS and Florida state Black powder Civil war reenactor I have several questions
    1) Why were kids that young handling black powder? absolutely NO ONE under the age of 16 handles that stuff.
    2) why did they have powder on their person it should be kept in the limber until needed.
    3) There is an Exellent book “In The Limber Chest” by Daniel Martin which outlines not only NPS but also the original skills of proper cannon fire its worth the $ to be safe
    I Hope the kids all recover and are able and willing to continue with living history and reenacting it truly is a great thing for families to get involved in

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