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Posted: 4/4/2006 1:04:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:07:36 PM EDT by Niel]
New Darwin Award canidate.. (sorry if this is a dupe)


Ventura teacher's hand severed when paperweight explodes
Associated Press

VENTURA, Calif. - Part of a teacher's hand was blown off when a 40 mm round the instructor used as a paperweight on his desk exploded in his classroom.

Robert Colla struck the round with an object Monday afternoon while teaching 20 to 25 students at the Ventura Adult Education Center on Valentine Road.

Part of Colla's right hand was severed and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso, fire Capt. Tom Weinell said. No one else was injured.

Colla was taken to Ventura County Medical Center, where he was described only as stable.

"It was just a horrible accident," said Dennis Huston, who teaches computer design alongside Colla. Huston said he had his back turned to Colla and was only about three feet away when he heard a loud bang.

Colla found the 40 mm round while hunting years ago, Huston said. He used it as a paperweight and "obviously he didn't think the round was live," Huston said.

The center is operated by the Ventura Unified School District.



ETA to add link: SJ Mercury Article
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:06:57 PM EDT
Sometimes stupid hurts.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:07:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:07:40 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:07:32 PM EDT
Ok note to self: If I find a 40mm shell in the woods, don't play with it.


Dumb ass.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:07:40 PM EDT
Stupid.


Very stupid.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:08:05 PM EDT
gold egg = don't touch
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:08:12 PM EDT
HUH HUH!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:08:13 PM EDT
40mm what? Grenade? Projectile from 40mm Bofors? Not very informative....shit, probably wasn't even 40mm....
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:09:38 PM EDT
Golden Easter Egg????
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:10:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By UH_SALT_RIFLE:
Ok note to self: If I find a 40mm shell in the woods, don't play with it. stick it in a notch in a tree and shoot at it from 100+ yards away.


Dumb ass.



There we go.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:10:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:13:24 PM EDT by DOW]
I wonder, something from a 203 or something older....

ETA
The Stumps is due East from his location and not very far, I'm betting it's a 203 round. Maybe M79, but that's prolly the same round, no?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:11:24 PM EDT
I kinda doubt that was the primary charge.

Kharn
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:11:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By UH_SALT_RIFLE:
Ok note to self: If I find a 40mm shell in the woods, don't play with it. stick it in a notch in a tree and shoot at it from 100+ yards away.


Dumb ass.



There we go.



Good idea!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:21:10 PM EDT
AND DONT FORGET KIDS UXO ALWAYS MAKES A GREAT PAPERWEIGHT, IT ALSO IS A GREAT DISPLAY PIECE FOR SCHOOL
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:25:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:25:30 PM EDT by blacklisted]
I'm guessing he was hunting near a base / training area.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:27:27 PM EDT
unfortunately, this clown can not recieve a darwin award because he did not eliminate himself from the gene pool. he does, however, deserve an honorable mention....... dumbass
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:29:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
AND DONT FORGET KIDS UXO ALWAYS MAKES A GREAT PAPERWEIGHT, IT ALSO IS A GREAT DISPLAY PIECE FOR SCHOOL


Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:30:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:31:26 PM EDT by JIMBEAM]
He took the U out of UXO.

My understanding is that the 40mm from the M203/M79 can be a real sensitive bitch. I think if it was a 40mm bofor more people would have been hurt/killed.


stupod herts
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:31:38 PM EDT
You would think it would be harder and harder to win The Darwin Award.

But.

Everytime I think someone is as stupid as humanly possible, someone surpasses the mark.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:31:39 PM EDT
That's wierd. If it detonated normally it is shocking he isn't dead. Isn't the lethal radius on those supposed to be like 3 meters or something?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:40:20 PM EDT
I think he is a real Hero....


Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:42:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:45:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
That's wierd. If it detonated normally it is shocking he isn't dead. Isn't the lethal radius on those supposed to be like 3 meters or something?




Exactly, how does a 40mm round go off on your desk, and cut off your hand, but not kill you?

Very lucky bastard.

TXL
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:48:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:
That's wierd. If it detonated normally it is shocking he isn't dead. Isn't the lethal radius on those supposed to be like 3 meters or something?



Yep. As someone said earlier....the primary cannot have gone off. More pieces would be missing.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:50:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 1:59:48 PM EDT by kavik]
It does seem strange - I know the m203 40mm rounds are spin armed. They do have some practice ones which instead of just being filled with blue chalk and a plastic nose cone which breaks on impact (like the M781 we always got), actually use a small explosive flash/bang/smoke charge to mark the target - the m918. That might have been enough to do the damage -
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:54:34 PM EDT
Heck, if ya want a real fun. Have a kid walk into a class and show you the farm disk he found----turns out its an antitank land mine ww2 ventage. We have 2 ex-army training camps near by and we always find UXO such as mines, mortors and handgreanades of ww2 vintage.

Most interesting find was a man using a 5inch rocket as a door prop on lake travis.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:34:58 PM EDT
Doh...!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:46:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:
I kinda doubt that was the primary charge.

Kharn



Yeah, a 40mm should be enough to blow up him and a few studends. That was probably the primer.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:47:26 PM EDT
Not to be picky, but wouldn't the primer be the primary charge, and the explosive the secondary?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:50:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By blacklisted:
Not to be picky, but wouldn't the primer be the primary charge, and the explosive the secondary?



I don't know what the proper terms are, but "primary" can mean "first," or it can mean "most important" or "main."
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:52:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 2:53:42 PM EDT by SWS]
Kalifornia needs to ban these preferred weapons of terrorists.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:59:27 PM EDT
Got to love those Golden Egg paperweights, looks like Mr. Murphy and Mr. Darwin wanted to have a laugh at his dumbass.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:59:53 PM EDT
where's that Red Foreman picture when you need it?? "DUMBASS....."
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:04:24 PM EDT
40mm rounds can be armed even if not shot. We would always mark the bottoms of the shells, and be careful not to rotate them when loading and unloading.

There is a story of a soldier finding a 40mm 203 round UXO in Germany or Korea, kept it for years in his barraks room. He threw it at his door when someone was trying to wake him for CQ, killed the other soldier.

During training a few months ago, we did use non-fragment explosive rounds, so it is my thought this is what the teacher had on his desk?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:50:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
Kalifornia needs to ban these preferred weapons of terrorists.



If it saves just one space shuttle, it will be worth it.....
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:53:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dieforalatte:
40mm rounds can be armed even if not shot. We would always mark the bottoms of the shells, and be careful not to rotate them when loading and unloading.

There is a story of a soldier finding a 40mm 203 round UXO in Germany or Korea, kept it for years in his barraks room. He threw it at his door when someone was trying to wake him for CQ, killed the other soldier.

During training a few months ago, we did use non-fragment explosive rounds, so it is my thought this is what the teacher had on his desk?



dont they require a certain number of rotations to arm? so the propellant charge may have gone off, just not the warhead.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:58:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Alien:
HUH HUH!



Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Hee, hee, hee, hee.

Ummmmm, like, there should be a law,...or somthin'.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:02:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By blacklisted:
Not to be picky, but wouldn't the primer be the primary charge, and the explosive the secondary?

Primary charge in the explosive, as compared to the propellant charge used to launch the shell.

Kharn
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:06:16 PM EDT
when I was in Somalia I named my Mk19 "Mother Goose"! Cause she laid the golden eggs!!!! What a tool!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:08:31 PM EDT
[ dont they require a certain number of rotations to arm? so the propellant charge may have gone off, just not the warhead.

I wanna say you need 40 meters before they arm!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:10:22 PM EDT
Best teacher ever!

"Timmy, what did you learn in school yesterday?"
Nuthin'

"Timmy, what did you learn in school today?"
Dont pick up unexploded ordnance you find in the woods. Oh, and you can get a teachers license and make really good money with no common sense at all.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:11:56 PM EDT
Posession of a destructive device. Let's see if the ATF go after him like they would one of us.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:16:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 4:17:05 PM EDT by eodtech2000]

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:

Originally Posted By dieforalatte:
40mm rounds can be armed even if not shot. We would always mark the bottoms of the shells, and be careful not to rotate them when loading and unloading.

There is a story of a soldier finding a 40mm 203 round UXO in Germany or Korea, kept it for years in his barraks room. He threw it at his door when someone was trying to wake him for CQ, killed the other soldier.

During training a few months ago, we did use non-fragment explosive rounds, so it is my thought this is what the teacher had on his desk?



dont they require a certain number of rotations to arm? so the propellant charge may have gone off, just not the warhead.



They need centrifugal force to arm, I forget the distance from the muzzle required for arming. This is a feature in a great many projectile fuzings.

I have personally seen 40mm grenades that are basically pure blast with virtually no frag. They don't dud out neither as the grenade had two separate powder train fusings that gave 99.9% certainty of no duds if the main fuzing failed to operate as designed.

EOD has to respond to idiots quite a few times a year who have this retarded urge to collect UXO's and bring them back to the barracks for disassembly/collection.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:51:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:
Posession of a destructive device. Let's see if the ATF go after him like they would one of us.



Only he's not in possession of it anymore.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:13:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 5:13:41 PM EDT by thedoctors308]

DUMBASS
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:14:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 5:15:55 PM EDT by threejane]
Oi, I used to live in Ventura County, they really are breeding more stupid there. here
He's still a dumbass.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:16:21 PM EDT
That's ridiculous.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:16:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:25:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:

Kalifornia needs to ban these preferred weapons of terrorists.



You're talking about teachers, right?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:31:03 PM EDT
Back in '87 there were a shitload of problems with 40mm HE M203 rounds, some not detonating on impact and others, um well detonating before their seven rotations. Them little eggs are tempermental little buggers.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 7:15:58 AM EDT
latimes.com
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-explode5apr05,0,2139700.story?coll=la-home-local
From the Los Angeles Times
Teacher Hurt When Old Ammo Explodes in Class
By Gregory W. Griggs
Times Staff Writer

April 5, 2006

A Ventura educator remained hospitalized Tuesday after a decades' old round of military ammunition he used as a paperweight exploded in his classroom, authorities said.

Robert Colla, an instructor at the Ventura Adult Education Center for five years, suffered severe damage to his right hand when the device detonated Monday afternoon. None of the more than 20 students in his computer drawing class was injured, officials said.

Co-workers said Colla found the large piece of ammo — believed to be a 40-millimeter round — when he was a child and thought it was harmless. It was a regular fixture in his classroom.

"This is not something he just found last week," said Barry Tronstad, director of the center on Valentine Road. "It's something he played with when he was a little boy."

Tronstad said Colla worked in the mechanical drafting industry before joining the adult center, where he began as an instructional assistant and moved up to instructor. "He's just an excellent teacher," Tronstad said. He said Colla was in his mid-40s and married with school-age children.

Administrators at the center and the Ventura Unified School District are still investigating, but witnesses said Colla was using the paperweight either to bang an object on his desk that was making noise or to get the students' attention.

"We're still collecting the facts on what happened exactly. We're just beginning to ask the questions," said Supt. Trudy T. Arriaga. "He's an outstanding employee in the district and we're hoping for the best with his prognosis and injury…. We're hoping for a full recovery."

Ventura Fire Department Battalion Chief Vern Alstot was among those who responded to Monday's explosion. "This was an absolute accident," he said. "A freak accident where everyone was extremely surprised."

Alstot said Colla was taken to Ventura County Medical Center. The injury was not life-threatening but part of Colla's hand may be amputated, Alstot said.

Hospital officials Tuesday would not discuss Colla's condition.

Alstot said the explosion put a hole about an inch in diameter through the roof of the adult education center. There was no dollar estimate of damages, and classes continued in other rooms.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, 28 workplace explosions were investigated in 2005, down from 38 in 2003.

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

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