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The Nation : Two Charged in Gun Blast

August 21, 1986

A part-time congressional aide and a decorated former Army helicopter pilot were arraigned on charges they carried a homemade 30-millimeter anti-tank cannon to a gasoline station in Arlington, Va., where it set off a gas pump explosion. Four people were injured. Officials said they were investigating what Robert G. Dilger, 54, a retired Air Force colonel, of Xenia, Ohio, and Joseph R. Donahue, 40, of Killeen, Tex., were doing with the 8-foot-long device when it accidentally discharged. Dilger had been working in the office of Rep. Denny Smith (R-Ore.) since May, 1985, said Greg Walden, a spokesman for Smith.

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