Gun barrel explodes on firing range

Paramedics tend to a man, centre, who was hit by debris when a 12 gauge shotgun exploded near him on Nanaimo Fish and Game Protective Association
Paramedics tend to a man, centre, who was hit by debris when a 12 gauge shotgun exploded near him on Nanaimo Fish and Game Protective Association's skeet range Wednesday afternoon. Three people were injured in the mishap.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Three people were injured and taken to hospital in a shooting accident at the Nanaimo Fish and Game Protective Association Wednesday afternoon.

One barrel of a 12-gauge, double-barrel shotgun blew up as a man was shooting at the association’s range off Nanaimo Lakes Road just before 2 p.m.

Ray Zboyovsky, a cousin of the man shooting the destroyed gun, was nearby when the accident happened.

“It just blew up,” he said. “Nobody knows [why]. It could have been anything – plugged barrel, double load, it’s hard to say. His hat went flying about 10, 20 feet.”


Zboyovsky said chunks of the gun hit two men standing to the right of his cousin, who was shooting clay pigeons at the time of the accident.

One of those men was walking around after the incident with a bandage wrapped around his head, but was also taken to hospital.

RCMP confirmed all three had head lacerations. The shooter also has burns to his wrist, a facial facial laceration and hearing loss.

Nanaimo RCMP said all three are club members who were skeet shooting.

More than 100 rounds were fired prior to the incident.

Police said the shooter was using home-reloaded ammunition, although investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the accident.

Dave Parenteau, association president, said to his knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened at the club.

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