Video: “Mythbusters” cannonball misfire tears through family’s home

Eric Pfeiffer
Reporter
The Sideshow

Whether or not you're a fan of the Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters," it can now be stated unequivocally that the show has left a trail of destruction through many people's lives.

The San Francisco Chronicle and KTVU report how the taping of a recent Mythbusters segment in Dublin, California went horribly wrong, when a cannonball was launched, missed its target then went on a path of destruction through a residential neighborhood.

"This cannonball was supposed to pass through several barrels of water and a cinder block wall to slow its inertia," said J.D. Nelson of Alameda County Sheriff's Department. "When the shot was fired, it misfired. The cannon lifted."

And "misfired" is a huge understatement. Take a look at the horrific recap of the cannonball's run:

The cantaloupe-sized cannonball missed the water, tore through a cinder-block wall, skipped off a hillside and flew some 700 yards east, right into the Tassajara Creek neighborhood, where children were returning home from school at 4:15 p.m., authorities said.

There, the 6-inch projectile bounced in front of a home on quiet Cassata Place, ripped through the front door, raced up the stairs and blasted through a bedroom, where a man, woman and child slept through it all - only awakening because of plaster dust.

It exited the house, leaving a perfectly round hole in the stucco, crossed six-lane Tassajara Road, took out several tiles from the roof of a home on Bellevue Circle and finally slammed into the Gill family's beige Toyota Sienna minivan in a driveway on Springvale Drive.

"Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy," Nelson said. "You wouldn't think it was possible."

Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident. But Jasbir Gill, who owns the damaged minivan, said he and his children had been in it just moments before. "It's scary," Gill said. "I kind of looked inside and seen a big old cannonball. And I had just got out of the van five minutes earlier. I'm glad my kids weren't inside the van. So lucky."

Gill said he would like an apology from the show's producers and for them to pay for the minivan's repairs.

Nelson said that part of the department's deal with the producers of Mythbusters requires the show to have insurance for just such incidents. He said the crew of the show has already sent a producer to the damaged homes and arranged to meet with the victims' respective insurance carriers.

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