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Mechanic Destroys F-16 Fighter Jet After Accidentally Opening Fire

We've all made a silly mistake at work - accidentally giving Angie from HR a brew with one sugar instead of two, shredding a kind-of-important document by mistake... that sort of thing.

Mechanic Destroys F-16 Fighter Jet After Accidentally Opening Fire

But all those pale in comparison to the day at work one Belgian mechanic had, after reportedly destroying a £15m fighter jet. Whoops.

 

According to the Telegraph, the mechanic had been carrying out repairs at the Florennes air base, which is 60 miles south of Brussels.

He and a colleague had been working on two F-16 jets in a hangar near the control tower, when he accidentally activated and fired the six-barrel 20mm Vulcan M61A-1 cannon from one - hitting a third jet, which apparently caught fire and quickly exploded.

 

According to the Dutch Aviation Society's Scramble magazine: "Apparently, the cannon was loaded and some ammunition hit the FA128.

"This aircraft had just been refuelled and prepared together with another F-16 for an upcoming afternoon sortie. After impact of the 20mm bullets, FA128 exploded instantly and damaged two other F-16s. Thankfully nobody got killed."

 

While there were no fatalities, the mechanics were injured as a result of what happened, both suffering from hearing problems - though luckily neither had any burns.

The Belgian Aviation Society Directorate has reportedly started an investigation into the incident.

The Belgian Air Force tweeted about the fire shortly after the incident took place, stating in both French and Flemish: "On October 11, 2018, at approximately 2:10 pm, a fire broke out during maintenance work on an F-16 on the Florennes Base.

"The plane burned. A second aircraft suffered collateral damage."

 

Boris Morenville, head of the defence trade union, said it did not appear to be a deliberate act or a terrorist incident - telling Belgian broadcaster RTL Info: "We may be thinking about human fault or technical failure, but in any case we have not yet been warned of an intentional act."

Colonel Didier Polome, meanwhile, said: "You can't help thinking of what a disaster this could have been."

I mean, he's got a point - it could have been a lot worse. Just tell Angie from HR that next time she moans about her brew only having one sugar in it...

Featured Image Credit: Tony Delvita/Twitter