This week's rogue cannonball accident in Northern California has been deemed a giant "wake-up call" by the hosts of Discovery's hit television series, "Mythbusters."
"Honestly, the feeling of embarrassment is not something we're indulging in right now," co-host Adam Savage told The San Francisco Chronicle. "We feel for the families and the people affected by this. … Some people watch our show and think that we're reckless. Others watch our show and they see we take safety seriously. The fact is the latter is the case."
The mishap took place earlier this week at the Alameda County Sheriff's Department bomb range in Dublin, Calif. A production crew had intended to fire a homemade cannon toward huge containers of water — but instead missed and watched in horror as the 30-pound projectile tore through a cinder-block wall, bounced off a hill and disappeared out of view some 700 yards to the east. The San Francisco Chronicle explains what happened next:
"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." "The ball wasn't done bouncing."
"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."
Despite not having been involved in the accident (the stunt was conducted by the show's "B" team), both Savage and Hyneman immediately reached out to the families involved and personally apologized. After the visit, Savage tweeted, "Now it's back to SF, to meet and discuss how to keep this from ever happening again. Very intense. We're SUPER relieved no one was hurt."
The special-effects duo have vowed to never air the accident footage.
"When you start to look into the data of what cannons can actually do, it's actually quite shocking," Savage told the Chronicle. "They're very efficient projectile-hurling weapons. It's a lot of power, and the power got away from us."