GSDF Stray Shell Accident Caused by Multiple Human Errors


Tokyo, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--Multiple human errors were behind the stray mortar shell that damaged a private passenger car last month during an exercise of a Ground Self-Defense Force regiment in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, the Defense Ministry's Ground Staff Office said Tuesday.

The errors included the entry of wrong firing angle data for the mortar shell and failures by GSDF officers to carry out appropriate safety checks before the firing, the Ground Staff Office said in an investigation report.

In the accident, which occurred on the afternoon of Nov. 14, the 81-millimeter mortar shell fired by a GSDF unit landed near a national road outside the GSDF's Aibano training area in the Shiga city of Takashima. Fragments of the shell and road asphalt broke a window of the car parked nearby, although no one was injured.

According to the Ground Staff Office, the unit chief gave wrong firing angle data to member officers.

An officer assigned with confirming safety did not check the firing angle, which was re-entered after the exercise was resumed following a suspension. A commander authorized the firing without receiving a safety report after the training was resumed.

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Jiji Press