A comedy sequence on the Gene Autry location near Pioneertown ended in a triple tragedy Monday afternoon when an antique cannon backfired and injured several members of the Flying-A-Productions unit.
Pat Buttram, comedian, was making rain with the rustic old cannon for a gag shot in the Gene Autry Television shorts being filmed here. The powder charge was apparently too heavy for the old firing piece and it exploded. Shrapnel from the breech hit Pat Buttram, Jimmy Loomis, sound man and Johnny Bruseau, driver for Gene Autry.
Dr. Ince of the Ince Memorial hospital in Twentynine Palms was flown to the Yucca Valley air-strip to administer first aid and the victims were then taken by ambulance to the hospital for emergency operations. Pat Buttram was reported to be in critical condition.