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Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Misses target, hits houses and car

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If non-US readers have ever wondered how far the Alameda County bomb disposal range (beloved of Discovery Channel show Mythbusters) is from homes, it seems it’s at least close enough for a misdirected cannonball to hit a house.

And then another house, a hill and a car.

Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are red-faced, to say the least, at the damage wrought when their partners (Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara) fired a home-made cannon at a target, and missed.

The aim of the experiment was, apparently, to measure the velocity they could achieve with their maker-style ordnance. The cannon had been fired at a target comprising huge containers of water, reports The Seattle Times.

When it missed, the 30 pound (roughly 14kg) cannonball made its way through a cinder-block wall; skimmed a hillside; passed through a house (in through the front door, out through a back wall, causing sundry damage inside but not waking or injuring the three occupants), knocked some roof tiles off a second house, and finally wrecked a Toyota Sierra minivan close to 1 Km from where it was fired.

According to the LA Times, Adam and Jamie are apologising in person to everybody affected, and have said they’ll cover damage and hotel bills. And yes, they still intend to screen the episode the cannon was built for. ®

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