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'MythBusters' apologizes for cannonball mishap

A cannonball launched from the Alameda County firing range during a taping for MythBusters damaged a home and a car Tuesday afternoon.
December 7, 2011 6:11:31 PM PST
The stars of the hit TV show "MythBusters" visited a Dublin neighborhood Wednesday afternoon to see the results of one of their experiments gone bad. Tuesday, a cannonball was launched during the filming of the show, but the projectile missed its intended target and landed instead in a neighborhood.

There are times when even scientists have to learn about the art of apologizing. Two of the stars of MythBusters did just that, after one of their cannonball experiments careened through a house.

"This is the worst we can imagine happening, host Adam Savage said. "I have kids of my own, I have a house of my own; I can't imagine how angry I would be to find this happening to it."

There is nothing to debunk here, cannonballs end up doing a lot of damage.

The MythBusters crew was on the other side of a hill experimenting with a cannon at the Alameda County Sheriff's Regional Training Center. But the cannonball they fired missed its target. Instead, the projectile came down the hill with extraordinary force, traveling 2,800 feet before hitting the ground and shooting through the door of a home, doing damage inside then exiting through the back. The cannonball, airborne again, then crossed Tassajara Road before taking out a tile on the top of another home's roof and finally landing inside a minivan across the street. Total traveling range: 3,300 feet.

Satwinder Gill owns the minivan where the cannonball finally came to rest.

"My husband and my son was in the car five minutes before it happened; I am so glad they are fine," Gill

Hitha Shetty owns the home the cannonball crashed through. His youngest son was inside napping at the time. No one was hurt.

"They are saying this is unfortunate, but I'm like, you know, I didn't know this is happening here, this kinds of experiments happen here," Shetty said.

According to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, the TV show has used the firing range close to 100 times before without any problems.

"Very unfortunate that it happened, very fortunate that no one got hurt," department spokesperson Sgt. J.D. Nelson said. "The range is shut down as of now, except for emergency detonations, until we can review all the policies and practices up there."

One of the show's hosts promised that no similar experiments will take place at the range in the future.

"There will be no cannons fired in this area, at least by us, again," Jamie Hyneman said.

The episode that the MythBusters crew was filming will not air, but the series will continue.


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