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Software glitch "unlikely" to blame for deadly cannon incident, expert says

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
October 19, 2007
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While some have speculated that a software glitch may been the cause of the deadly anti-aircraft cannon incident in South Africa last week, a defense expert is now casting doubt on that notion, saying that it is more likely the result of a "simple mechanical failure." According to Jim O'Halloran of Jane's Land-Based Air Defence (speaking to NewScientist), "if a shell was jammed in the breech and the cordite then fired, it could set off the ammunition in the canisters," which would in turn send the turret spinning. O'Halloran went on to say that it's "a very tragic accident, but it is not a robot gone out of control." As reported earlier, both the police and a Board of Inquiry are now investigating the matter, although there's been no firm conclusions from either as of yet.

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