Nobody was injured when the cannonball, which was fired at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb range, went off-course. It was supposed to crash through a few water-filled barrels and into a concrete wall; instead it flew over the water-filled barrels, hit the concrete wall and was launched skyward. The cannonball hit the ground approximately 700 feet away, where it bounced in front of a home, smashed through the front door, crashed through an exterior wall, then bounced at least one more time off the roof of another house before bouncing off the road and smashing through a window and into the dashboard of a parked minivan.
The minivan’s owner, Jasbir Gill, told reporters that he and his children had been in the van a short time before it was struck by the cannonball:
It’s scary. I was in the van five minutes before this happened.
Sheriff’s spokesperson JD Nelson said that the residents of the home were sleeping at the time and that they did not wake up until after the dust had literally begun to settle. The cannon in question had been used without incident by MythBusters on more than fifty previous occasions.
Scary stuff, but it could have been a lot worse. At any rate, if there is an upside for the owner of the aforementioned houses and the minivan, it is that MythBusters is an extremely popular show that makes its producers piles and piles of money… I’m guessing that everyone will be well compensated for any damage that was caused by the misfire.