Skip to comments.10 wounded by artillery explosion on Fort Bragg
Posted on 03/15/2011 2:58:54 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
Eight Marines and two Navy sailors were injured Monday by an exploding artillery round during live fire training on Fort Bragg.
A Marines spokesman said the round apparently exploded in the barrel of an M777A2, a lightweight howitzer cannon that fires 155mm artillery rounds.
The blast was around 8 p.m near the intersection of Turkey and Chicken roads, said the spokesman, Staff Sgt. Jayson Price.
Two of the injured troops were flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, and eight were taken to the Womack Army Medical Center emergency room, said Womack spokeswoman Shannon Lynch.
A Fort Bragg news release said that of the eight people taken to Womack, five were flown there by helicopter and three were taken in ambulances by Fort Bragg and Hoke County emergency services workers.
The majority of the injuries were shrapnel wounds and lacerations, according to Fort Bragg, which directed all other questions to Price.
(Excerpt) Read more at fayobserver.com ...
A defective fuze? I thought artillery shells had to spin-arm so they couldn’t arm until they were a certain distance from the muzzle?
Ouch! Prayers for their speedy recovery.
Previously weakened tube, fouled tube, bad fuse, bad explosive, hot charge?
Our rocks loved doing both those things.
Void in fill?
HE or inert? This sounds like a high order inbore as opposed to a propellant overpressure/"who left the anvil in the bore" type failure. I wouldn't trust early press reports in any event.
Prayers up for the injured.
Had this happen in Hawaii back in the early 80’s. Turns out there was a micro crack in the base of the round and the exploding propellant went into the crack and set off the explosive in the round before the round had left the tube.
Nothing to do with the fuse in that case.
Your answer makes a lot of sense,I do hope the gun bunnies are OK, I was in ammo.
A round can get jammed in the tube (barrel). Rare, but it happens. The propellent then cooks off and may cause the HE to explode. There’s a lot of heat and pressure going on in the breech with this scenario and anything can happen. If the round does explode bits of barrel, breach mechanism and carrige add to the round’s inherent shrapnel.
We used to joke that the most junior 2LT was always the stuckee to clear a misfire. But in reality, when it happened in my unit, our most competent artilleryman did it. Happened to be a captain.
RIP for the soldiers killed and speedy recovery for those wounded. A 155 round has a 50 Sq meter burst radious. Almost any living thing not protected in that radius will be killed or wounded.
First thing: Count the Mohammads with access to the ordnance.
An investigation revealed the detonation was caused by a faulty lot of fuzes that came from a Navy ammunition depot in California. These same fuzes were tied to premature bursts of shells fired from Marine 175mm guns and 8-inch howitzers operating in Vietnam.
As the fuzes were transported from place to place in the depot, forklift drivers had exceeded the posted speed limit while crossing some railroad tracks. The jostling suffered by the fuzes was sufficiently violent to partially arm fuzes in this lot that were delivered to NEWPORT NEWS and Marine artillery units in Vietnam. None of the Marine units suffered casualties from the premature shell bursts.
NEWPORT NEWS was not so lucky. Half of the barrel of No. 2 gun of No. 2 turret was blown completely off. The ship steamed to Subic Bay, Philippines, for repairs. The decision was made to inactivate the damaged No. 2 turret, cutoff the barrel stub, and plate over the opening in the face of the turret for the gun barrel. That is the way the ship was decommissioned and sent to the ship breakers’ yard.
Second thing: Look for anything made in China.
After Hassan, this screams sabotage by moslem soldiers
A bore obstruction would ordinarily not cause an explosion; you'd split or bulge the tube but the shell would not detonate. It's about 99.999 percent that another shell did not get stuck in the tube and another round was loaded in back of it. Similarly, the HE filler cannot detonate by itself.
A premature firing of the powder charge (M777A2 takes propellant bags and not steel or brass cases) would result in a flash back (breech open) as happened on USS IOWA (BB-61). Or, if the charge was defective and fired prematurely (breech closed), the pressure would push the shell out of the barrel for a short round. The only thing that could produce such an accident has to be the fuze.
Used to happen with our 81 MM Mortars, stuck round in the barrel. Ist thing to do was kick the barrel see if it would drop down. If not then piss on the barrel to cool it down then the most nervewracking, disconnect the barrel and tip it upsidedown and catch the round. Not fun!
My son’s an Airborne MP—VIII Airborne Corps (owns 101st and 82nd). Serving his fifth deployment—Afghanistan this time. That’s second deployment there, 2 in Iraq and one in Kosovo. His unit lost one soldier dead and 2 wounded by IED two weeks ago. Just one month after arriving in country. My son is a battalion CSM.
Yea, misfires are a b****.