Technician Accidentally Fires Warplane's Vulcan Cannon, Destroys F-16

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A picture taken on June 27, 2016 shows the departure of six planes of the Belgian army, F-16 fighter jets at the military airbase in Kleine Brogel. Getty Images

A maintenance worker accidentally fired a 20mm Vulcan cannon from an F-16 jet at a Belgian air force base, destroying a nearby F-16 jet and damaging others, according to reports. 

The technician at Florennes Air Basein southern Belgium accidentally fired the weapon while performing maintenance work on the plane, hitting an F16 parked on tarmac in front of a hangar, Avio News reported. 

The plane hit was full of fuel at the time and caught fire, and another plane nearby was damaged. The Belgian Airforce confirmed the incident at the airbase, and said that two mechanics were being treated for hearing loss caused by the blast. 

GettyImages-543265010 A picture taken on June 27, 2016 shows the departure of six planes of the Belgian army, F-16 fighter jets at the military airbase in Kleine Brogel. Getty Images

An investigation has been opened into Thursday’s incident and the commander of the Florennes airfield told Belgium’s RTBF television that the inquiry would look at whether there was any wrongdoing. 

“You can’t help thinking of what a disaster this could have been,” said Colonel Didier Polome, who flew back from the Baltic where Belgian F-16s are policing NATO’s frontier with Russia.

 

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