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"MythBusters" Misfire: Cannonball crashes through house in TV show mishap

(CBS SAN FRANCISCO) DUBLIN, Calif. - It wasn't what the crew from the TV show "MythBusters" set out to do, but they did demonstrate that a cannonball can miss its target completely, pass through the front door of a house and out an upstairs bedroom wall, and still have enough force to damage a car.

That's what happened when a test-firing by the team from the Discovery Channel show went dangerously awry in Dublin, Calif., according to CBS San Francisco.

A crew was filming for the program Tuesday at the Alameda County bomb range about 25 miles north of San Jose, sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said. The experiment involved a cannon built for the program about two years ago, and which the show says it has used at least three times before, Nelson said.

This time, the cannonball was supposed to go through several barrels of water and a cinder block wall before striking the hills of the bomb range.

Uh oh!

The munition missed the water, which was intended to slow the projectile's progress, went through the cinder block wall and struck the hill.

"It did not bury itself in the hill as you might think it would have," Nelson said, according to CBS San Francisco.

No it did not. Instead, it careened off the hill and into a neighborhood in Dublin.

The station reported the cannonball passed completely through a house, creating a softball-sized hole in the front door. After tearing through the home, and out an upstairs bedroom wall  (how did that happen?), it careened through a window of a parked minivan at another home a few hundred feet away.

Three people were at the blasted home at the time, including at least one child, Nelson said. He told the Contra Costa Times that no one was injured and the residents didn't even wake up until the dust was settled, literally on top of them.

By the way, did we happen to mention that Sheriff Nelson is a consultant for "MythBusters"?

He said the show has used the county's bomb range more than 50 times for experiments and filming.

"We never even had any kind of an incident let alone anything this terrible," Nelson said.

Nelson said the TV crew responded by sending a senior producer to the home and to the home of the car owner. The producer arranged to meet with their insurance carriers, he told CBS San Francisco.

"They (the 'MythBusters' crew) are insured for these kinds of things," he said.

Ready, aim, fire.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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