Entries in Tank (2)


The Cupcake Tank Is the Draw at Pentagon Ceremony

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Talk about a show stealer.  The Army’s top brass were on hand in the Pentagon’s courtyard Thursday to celebrate the Army’s 237th birthday with the traditional cake-cutting ceremony, but all eyes were trained on the cupcake tank.

A special 2,500 pound mock-up of an Abrams M1-A1 tank made from 5,000 camouflage colored cupcakes and equipped with a working air cannon capable of firing what else?  A cupcake, of course.

The tank was made by the staff of Georgetown Cupcake, the popular Washington, D.C. cupcake store featured on the TLC show D.C. Cupcakes.  The store’s owners, sisters Sophie Lamontagne and Katherine Kallinis came up with the idea and donated the $9,800 cost of the cupcakes.

For the past two holiday seasons the sisters have donated 10,000 cupcakes to American troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lamontagne told ABC News,"with the Army’s birthday coming up we definitely were honored to be a part of it and we thought what better emblem for the Army than a tank made of cupcakes.”  She added, “it was so much fun, it added something a little extra special to the ceremony.”

The cupcake tank  looked like the real deal, the  5,000 cupcakes were covered in 200 pounds of camouflage fondant.  As the ceremony continued some of it began to melt and drip in the morning sun.

When it came time to fire the cannon a PA announcer asked, “Ladies the tank looks great, but tell us can it shoot?”

“Absolutely!” shouted the sisters in unison.

A few seconds later a loud pop was heard and a cupcake ensconced in a red Solo drinking cup was launched 20 feet in the air before plopping on the Pentagon Courtyard.

And the tank is capable of fitting a four star general in its turret, that would be Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A loud cheer went up from the crowd of Pentagon employees and service members gathered for the festivities.

After the ceremony, Gen. Dempsey, climbed into the cupcake tank and popped his head out of the turret.  The one-time Armored officer waved to the crowd and drew a big cheer.

He later joked during a broadcast interview, “Tanks and cupcakes don’t belong in the same sentence even in the Army.”

Though the cupcakes on the tank were edible,  the Pentagon workers and service members on hand for Thursday’s ceremony were able to eat from 1,500 “Army Seal” cupcakes.   Flavors included salted caramel, red velvet, peanut butter fudge, lava fudge, and vanilla buttercream.

Within 15 minutes the cupcakes and the cake were gone, but the cupcake tank was still the main draw.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iraq War Vet Dies in Unlikely Air Tank Explosion

Zigy Kaluzny /Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- An Iraq war veteran planning a diving expedition with two friends in Florida was killed Sunday morning when the scuba tank he was carrying exploded.

Russell Vanhorn III, a 23-year-old former Marine originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was carrying the tank into the parking lot of an apartment complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., when it ruptured. Vanhorn was treated for severe traumatic injuries at St. Petersburg General Hospital and pronounced dead shortly after.

"The explosion was so big it damaged vehicles within 100 feet of the incident," said, Lt. Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. "I've never seen anything like this."

St. Pete Fire and Rescue says Vanhorn was preparing for a scuba diving trip with two friends who live in the one-story apartment complex. They were both inside the apartment when the explosion occurred and were not injured.

"When we arrived we noticed the front door of the apartment was blown out, and the man was in the doorway -- half in, half out," said Granata.

The blast caused damages to several vehicles in the apartment complex parking lot, including broken windows and chipped paint. One car even suffered a door being blown out completely.

Granata said fire and police investigators along with a local dive master reported to the scene immediately. They inspected the remaining scuba supplies, checked pressures and bled the air out of a remaining nine tanks that were inside the apartment. The Tampa Bomb Squad also reported to the scene as a precaution.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that Vanhorn learned to scuba dive at Camp Pendleton while serving in the Marine Corps. The Times quotes Vanhorn's father as saying that his son aspired to begin a career in scuba diving with another friend from Iowa.

Jill Heinerth, a technical diving expert and legal consultant, said this particular scenario is unusual but added that scuba tank explosions are not unheard of.

"Pressurized tanks can explode for a number of reasons," said Heinerth. "If a tank were to fall over for instance, and the oxygen valves move to an on position and let's suppose there's a source of ignition like a car that's running, if these mix then you've got all the right components for a massive explosion."

Heinerth stressed the importance of following the federal scuba guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Divers should have their tanks visually inspected by a certified technician once a year and every five years a hydrostatic test must be performed. If divers are using anything other than air in their tanks then they should have the tank oxygen cleaned annually by certified technicians.

Heinerth also recommended that people get their tanks filled at a reputable air fill station or dive shop to ensure they have clean air and that it's filled properly, this will lessen contamination that could potentially lead to an explosion.

Puetz said the St. Petersburg Police are investigating to determine if the tank was properly filled with oxygen, had proper attachments and determine if Vanhorn was carrying the tank when the explosion occurred or if he had set it down at the moment.

Vanhorn's friends have had to vacate their apartment, which police have boarded up.

Vanhorn is expected to be laid to rest in his hometown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio