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Wednesday
Dec072011

‘MythBusters’ Show Suspended After Stunt Goes Awry

Discovery Channel(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The popular MythBusters show on the Discovery Channel has been put on hold pending a full investigation into an incident Tuesday in which a cannonball was sent whizzing through a San Francisco-area neighborhood.

Producers for the show, in which hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman test common myths, were reportedly testing a cannon at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb range in Dublin, Calif., around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The cannon was supposed to travel through several barrels of water and a cinder block wall within the bomb range but instead hit something that caused it to shoot over the hillside and into the residential neighborhood below.

Traveling at a speed of 1,000 feet per second, the cannonball flew 700 yards into a home where a couple was sleeping, bounced across a road, onto a roof and, finally, crashed into the window of a minivan.

While no one was injured in the accident, it startled local residents.

Jasbir Gill, the owner of the minivan, told local ABC affiliate KGO-TV he had exited his van just minutes before the impact.

“I looked inside and there was a big cannonball,” said Gill. “It was a good five to 10 inches. I was scared. I was lucky my kids weren’t in the van.”

The cannon also left a 10-inch hole in the bedroom wall of the home whose residents were sleeping.

“They didn’t actually hear the cannonball come through the house. What woke them up was the settling of the sheet rock,” Sgt. J.D. Nelson from the Alameda Co. Sheriff’s Dept., who was on site as a safety expert when the incident occurred, told KGO-TV.

Nelson told the station the MythBusters experiment was intended to “see if other materials could be fired out of a cannon and be as effective as a cannonball.”

Instead, the network and the production team behind the San Francisco-based show were left to explain how the experiment went so wrong.

According to Nelson, Discovery has used the sheriff department’s bomb range for more than 50 MythBusters episodes since the show first debuted on Discovery in 2003.

“They’re very sorry that this happened. And they have safety measures that are in place,” said Nelson. “They did have a misfire. And they have insurance for these kinds of things.”

The Emmy-nominated show, which has aired 189 episodes, returned for its ninth season this September.

The Discovery Channel did not respond to requests for additional comment placed Wednesday by ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio