3 Hurt by Gunpowder Blast in Mock Battle

United Press International

Gunpowder exploded Saturday aboard a ship taking part in a mock pirate battle on the Elizabeth River during Harborfest, seriously injuring three people, authorities said.

The crew aboard the Wan Fu was lighting a cannon and a spark apparently touched off the nearby gunpowder, said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Breuninger, Coast Guard group commander for Hampton Roads.

Guidelines for the mock pirate battle had been established, and a safety briefing had been conducted in the morning before the battle, the Harborfest Committee said.