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Jammed rifle shell results in hand injury


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An exploding round of ammunition injured a Columbus man severely enough that he was eventually transferred to an Indianapolis hospital, police said.

John Darlage, 31, of 2075 S. Gladstone Ave., underwent hand surgery at Indiana University Methodist Hospital over the weekend, and treatment for facial injuries caused by explod-ing shrapnel, said Chief Deputy Maj. Todd Noblitt of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. The injuries are non-life threatening, he added.

Early Saturday afternoon, Darlage was with a group of friends who were taking turns firing a .50-caliber, single-shot bolt action rifle when a round became lodged in the chamber and jammed the bolt, Nobliltt said.

When the weapon could not be fired, Darlage attempted to dislodge the round, but the shell exploded, resulting in a severe injury to Darlage’s left thumb, Noblitt said.

One of his friends drove Darlage to the emergency room at Columbus Regional Hospital, where an evaluation concluded that he needed to be transferred to Methodist Hospital for emergency surgery, Noblitt said.

The hospital staff first reported the incident as a gunshot injury at 2 p.m. Saturday, but Darlage was not actually shot, Noblitt said.

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