Technician ‘Accidentally’ Fires Vulcan Cannon, Destroys F-16 Sitting on the Runway

Jack Phillips

A maintenance worker in Belgium accidentally fired a 20mm Vulcan cannon from an F-16 jet that he was working on at the Florennes Air Force Base, destroying another F-16 and damaging another aircraft nearby.

The incident occurred on Oct. 11, and the F-16 hit by the cannon quickly caught on fire and exploded as it was loaded with fuel, Task and Purpose reported.

“You can’t help thinking of what a disaster this could have been,” Col. Didier Polome, the base commander, was quoted by the outlet as saying.

Both mechanics involved in the incident were injured, reported The Telegraph.
“The Belgian Aviation Safety Directorate started an investigation. The Belgian Air Force has some 54 F-16s left now,” wrote Scramble, a Dutch publication, about the incident.
On Twitter, the Belgian Air Force confirmed that a fire broke out at the base “The plane burned. A second aircraft suffered collateral damage,” reads a translation of the statement. Officials didn’t mention that a maintenance worker fired a cannon at the aircraft.
“The damage caused by the accident would amount to tens of millions of Euro and flight operations from the air base are suspended temporarily to allow both to carry out the investigations,” website AVIO wrote, “and to secure the whole area near the explosion point avoiding any leakage of toxic substances.”

Air Force Base in Florida Damaged

Meanwhile, Tyndall Air Force Base, which houses modified F-16 planes, was severely damaged during Hurricane Michael’s landfall (as seen in the top video) on Oct. 10.

The Air Force Times on Oct. 13 reported that QF-16s and F-22 Raptors were likely damaged by the powerful Category 4 storm.
President Donald Trump visited the hurricane-hit areas this week. “We’re doing more than has probably ever been done,” Trump said of the recovery efforts in Florida.

FEMA Director Brock Long said that the death toll will likely rise.

Search and rescue crews walk past debris caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S. on Oct. 11, 2018. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
Search and rescue crews walk past debris caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S. on Oct. 11, 2018. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
“FEMA is rapidly trying to meet the demands the governor puts forward when it comes to sustaining life, but in some cases, because of the (severity of the) hit, we’re still focusing on search and rescue in some of the areas like Mexico Beach to make sure we leave no stones unturned and we’re getting to anybody that may be trapped,” Long said, reported the Pensacola News Journal.
The Weather Channel reported that at least 19 people have been confirmed dead.

“Unfortunately there are going to more fatalities than people want to admit,” said State Rep. Halsey Beshears, according to the news outlet. “If you stayed in Mexico Beach, there’s no way you could have survived. I think more fatalities are going to show up every day.”

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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