Oops. We shelled your back yard. Sorry!

An artillery shell lands in your back yard, explodes messily, and emergency services rush in to see if anyone is hurt. Question: Where do you live?

A) Tikrit, Iraq
B) Kabul, Afghanistan
C) Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA

Have a look behind the door labeled “C,” folks.

Upshot (pardon the pun…): A Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) avalanche control team used all seven bags of powder instead of just five, and fired a howitzer round clear over the mountain. It came down in Pleasant Grove, where residents heard “a whistling noise, then an explosion.” Miraculously, there were no injuries.

My Take: Idiots. Does nobody train these people with this equipment? I have mental images of a group of teenagers going to work for UDOT instead of playing with pipe-bombs in their back yards, and applying the same sort of devil-may-care attitude towards loading the artillery.

The good news here is three-fold:
1) Nobody was killed or injured.
2) UDOT admitted fault immediately.
3) UDOT has suspended avalanche control operations pending results of an investigation.

My Other Take: This is hilarious. I have to laugh nervously, but I still have to laugh.


13 thoughts on “Oops. We shelled your back yard. Sorry!”

  1. I wonder how much training those folks recieve in the usage of ‘avalance control’ devices. I know ski patrol personnel do get quite a bit of instruction when they are trained to use them.

      1. So, what, the one guy is 63 and has been doing this for 31 years, and the other guy just started? 😀

        I can laugh, because nobody got hurt, and I don’t live anywhere near there.

  2. One year at Annual Training, we were past arty and the impact area–happens all the time. Sometimes we were between.

    End of the fire mission and exercise, some stoopid looie wanted to use up remaining resources–you have to account for all of it and “none left” is easier than counting and weighing.

    Mission called for a “7” Which is bags 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, each one smaller than the previous. #1 is BIG to get minimum range. #2 is a little smaller, etc.

    He ordered the gun crew to load a 4 and a 3.

    That’s 1,1,2,2,3,3,4

    Two boosters.

    You see where this is going.

    0500, we wake up to WOOOOOOSH WHAM!

    live 105mm shell within 500 meters.

    Worse, they lease the land out to civilians for cabins. They dug some guy a swimming hole right outside his summer cabin.

    Was on the news an hour later(we couldn’t see it in the dark and dusk). Seeing as we had a large commo van with AC, we made use of our facilities, of course, and had the mast up and TV on.

    “Hey, guys…that bang we heard?”

    Yes, they made the LT a civilian about a week later.


  3. 1) I’m sad that there are no pictures … the whale story had video, for crimenently.
    2) Come on Howard, Pleasant Grove isn’t THAT close to your house. They’d have had to been aiming a whole other direction to hit your house. 😉

  4. Hush, Here comes a whizz-bang!
    Hush! Here comes a whizz bang!
    Oh, you soldier boys, get down those stairs
    Down in your dugout and say your prayers
    Hush! Here comes a whizz bang
    and it’s headed straight for you….
    and you’ll see all the wonders of No Man’s Land
    If the whizz bang
    Hits you……

  5. Further proof…

    That it’ll be a funny story if it involves one of the following phrases:

    1. “No shit, there I was…”

    2. “So there we were at this bar…”

    3. “So then this guy says ‘I wonder what would happen if we did…'”

    Remind me to walk around with a white flag should I visit Utah…

    1. Re: Further proof…

      “What’s the difference between a Fairy Tale and a flying story?”

      “Well, a fairy tale starts off “Once upon a Time.” and a flying story starts off “No shit, there I was…” ”


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