Chunky missile of cast iron hits residence

None were injured when the metal projectile fell through the roof.
Friday, April 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:40 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

A piece of cast iron, apparently fired from a cannon located on the property of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, tore through the fifth floor of a residence building adjacent to the MU campus Thursday night.

Doug Miller, manager of University Place at the corner of University and College avenues, said what appeared to be an eight-inch piece of cast iron struck the roof of the building, fell through the fifth floor and settled on the fourth floor. No residents were injured, he said, but the impact blew out an apartment window.

“From my understanding, it was a piece of the cannon,” Miller said.

Kappa Alpha is located directly across College Avenue from University Place. The cannon, which was covered with a blue tarp late Thursday evening, sits on the fraternity’s front lawn. Miller said the fraternity had been shooting fireworks out of the cannon for the last several days.

Columbia Police Officer David Waldrup said officers and the Columbia Fire Department arrived on the scene but found no fire or flames. He said after entering University Place, police found the object on the fourth floor.

Waldrup said police received a call at 8:11 p.m. about an accident in the road around the intersection of University and College avenues. A second caller around the same time reported seeing an explosion on the fourth floor of University Place, located at 1205 University Ave.

Fred Wong, who has been living on the fourth floor of University Place for three weeks, said he was playing ping pong in the floor’s common area when he heard a “bomb noise.” Seconds later, an object broke through the ceiling and landed on the ping-pong table.

“Basically, the guys in KA got a little crazy,” Miller said. “It could have killed somebody.”

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