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Mass. Parade Cannon Misfires, Injures Actor

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 07, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Burns and car crashes are expected over Fourth of July weekend, but the town of Norwood, Massachusetts was treated to a different kind of accident this year when a parade cannon misfired, injuring Kevin Roche.

Lest you think that the town's residents are running around shooting cannonballs, this was no ordinary parade. It was Norwood's annual Fourth of July World War II Reenactment Parade, and the cannon in question is technically a prop.

Chris Pittman, a member of the same reenactment group as victim Kevin Roche, told The Boston Globe that the cannon is unable to shoot live ammunition, and that it is merely a noise-maker that the group has used for the past 10 years without incident.

However, on Monday, the paper reports that the cannon misfired, causing a piece of metal to shoot out and hit Kevin Roche in the thigh.

Luckily he only suffered minor injuries.

It's unlikely that Roche will sue his reenactment group for the incident, but what about the cannon's manufacturer?

Well, it could be a product defect, as it functioned in an unintended way. However, given that they've had it for at least 10 years, and that it has never done this before, it's likely that the group or cannon operator is responsible.

The cannon might not have been properly inspected, loaded with blanks, or maintained. These explanations, if true, would override the manufacturer's responsibility.

Regardless, given the fact that a cannon misfired, this appears to be one of those situations in which no one is really responsible, and people, like Kevin Roche and his friends, are just lucky that no one was seriously injured.

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