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California woman killed by husband's homemade cannon

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A man's homemade cannon killed his wife when the contraption suddenly went off early Tuesday and tore into the couple's home in the California border town of Potrero, authorities said.

The man had been drinking and was "freaking out" when emergency responders arrived at the home, said a dispatcher with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

It was not clear what the man was doing with the cannon before his wife was killed, but authorities have suggested the death was accidental.

The woman killed by the cannon was 33 years old, said Cal Fire spokesman Captain Mike Mohler.

Authorities have not released the names of the woman or her husband.

There was a 4-year-old child at the home who was asleep and not injured in the blast, Mohler said.

One man at the home -- possibly the husband -- was taken to a local hospital for injuries, Mohler said. His condition was not immediately clear.

San Diego Sheriff's Department homicide investigators on Tuesday morning were at the scene of the cannon blast in Portrero, said Lieutenant Kelly Martinez, a spokesman for the agency. Potrero is just across the border from the Mexican town of Tecate and less than 40 miles southeast of San Diego.

(Reporting by Marty Graham: Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Paul Thomasch)

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