Gunpowder was invented in China in the ninth century during the reign of the Tang Dynasty. Though initially used to create fireworks, gunpowder was also used by the Chinese during a 10th-century war against the Mongols.
The world's first recorded gunpowder accident took place in 1280 at an arsenal in Weiyang, Eastern China. After stocks of gunpowder caught fire, a large explosion killed more than 100 soldiers and scattered debris over a two mile radius.
Gunpowder technology did not reach Europe until the late 13th century, by which time the Chinese had already developed hand grenades, cannons and flame throwers.