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Rising Sun*
06-29-2008, 10:57 PM
Mistaken live ammo injures 17 in France
Mon, 30 Jun 2008 05:49:32


In a bizarre incident, seventeen people are injured when soldiers fired live bullets instead of blanks in an open day display in France.

Fifteen civilians, including five children, and two soldiers were injured in the incident, which took place on Sunday.

The incident involved a demonstration by members of a French marines parachute regiment, of hostage liberation exercises at the Laperrine military barracks, which houses the 3rd marine infantry parachute regiment.

Four of the 17 were seriously injured, with two being in a critical condition following the "incomprehensible" scenes at the barracks near Carcassone, in the country's south-west, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, five helicopters, 11 firefighters' first-aid vehicles and two ambulances have rushed to the scene of the incident to help the injured.

One soldier has been detained, while no explanation has been given with regards to why the wrong ammunition was loaded into the weapons.

Elsewhere, a national police spokesman said late on Sunday, "All hypotheses are being considered", while adding that the weapons had been "seized and placed under lock and key".

Hospitals in the towns of Toulouse, Narbonne, Montpellier and Perpignan, as well as Carcassone, were providing treatment.

According to a presidential statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy awaits the results of an urgent top-level military probe into the incident.

The statement said, Sarkozy "shares with the families the pain caused by this drama. My first thoughts are with the victims. Everything will be put in place to care for them".

France's Defense Minister Herve Morin traveled to Carcassonne on Sunday evening to visit the injured, while Sarkozy was due to visit the injured in the hospitals in Carcassonne and Toulouse.

The latest information given by the chief of the regional administration in Aude in southeast France, Bernard Lemaire is that investigators believe the deadly ammunition was loaded by mistake.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=62006&sectionid=351020603

Nickdfresh
07-01-2008, 08:38 PM
Pretty shocking that that can even happen!

Rising Sun*
07-01-2008, 08:51 PM
News reports indicate that the shooter had live rounds from a previous exercise and loaded them in error.

Looks like he hit the French army chief as well, as heads begin to roll.


French army chief resigns after shooting
By CECILE ROUX – 5 hours ago

PARIS (AP) — France's army chief resigned Tuesday following a weekend military show in which 16 people were shot and wounded when real bullets were used instead of blanks. 's resignation, Sarkozy's office said Tuesday, and the defense minister suspended the use of blank munitions at public military shows.

The soldier who fired the bullets was handed preliminary charges for involuntary injury. The 28-year-old had been taken into custody soon after Sunday's display of hostage-freeing techniques at the Laperrine military barracks in southern France, in which 16 people were hit.

Most of those injured were civilians, and three were children. Officials at a hospital in Toulouse, where five of the victims were being treated, said their condition was stable. A day earlier, hospital officials had said none of the injuries appeared life-threatening.

Officials had earlier said 17 people were injured, but Montpellier Prosecutor Brice Robin on Tuesday put the total at 16.

In a statement, Cuche said his decision to resign was a direct response to the incident.

"As the military chief, I must fully accept my responsibilities," the statement said.

Speaking on France-Info radio, Defense Minister Herve Morin praised Cuche, describing him as "a man with a conscience" who had made the decision to resign and had not been forced out.

"He felt that the ... tragedy, beyond the incident linked to personal mistakes, revealed organizational defaults, malfunctionings," Morin later told reporters. He added that the general had raised the possibility of resigning on Sunday.

The military blamed the shooting, at a parachute regiment's open day for the public, on "serious failings."

Robin said the shooting appeared to be unintentional.

"According to his (the soldier's) early statements, it appears that he made a mistake while loading his gun," Robin said. "This act was absolutely not premeditated; I want to be clear about this point."

The soldier said he "forgot" to hand in unused bullets, as rules stipulate, and then mistakenly loaded his weapon with those munitions, Robin said.

The soldier, a sergeant, was placed under judicial control and freed pending the investigation.

Under French law, preliminary charges mean investigating judges have strong reason to suspect involvement in a crime. Judges decide later if there is enough evidence for a trial.

Without waiting for the results of the judicial and military investigations, Morin ordered the army chief of staff to prepare punishments for those responsible, the ministry said in a statement. It did not elaborate on what the sanctions would be.

Sarkozy had promised there would be "consequences" after the shooting.

(This version CORRECTS number of injured to 16, not 17, reflecting new remarks by prosecutor.) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iMar5EEaNMu_nlz_U29uU92NWmoQD91L7RR00

Panzerknacker
07-01-2008, 09:24 PM
How you can mistook blank with live ammo ? :shock:

Those are completely different rounds, is crazy.

Rising Sun*
07-01-2008, 09:29 PM
How you can mistook blank with live ammo ? :shock:

Those are completely different rounds, is crazy.

I assume he had a mag already loaded, but how stupid would he have to be to have it on him during that sort of exercise?

It wasn't the only mix up that contributed to the injuries. One of the news reports I haven't posted said that the organisers have been criticised for having an actor playing a terrorist in the crowd, so that rounds were apparently fired in that direction.

Nickdfresh
07-01-2008, 09:36 PM
I assume he had a mag already loaded, but how stupid would he have to be to have it on him during that sort of exercise?

It wasn't the only mix up that contributed to the injuries. One of the news reports I haven't posted said that the organisers have been criticised for having an actor playing a terrorist in the crowd, so that rounds were apparently fired in that direction.


So, even allowing for drama - we can surmise that French Marine hostage response tactics aren't very good...

Rising Sun*
07-01-2008, 09:44 PM
So, even allowing for drama - we can surmise that French Marine hostage response tactics aren't very good...

And their accuracy or the lethality of their weapons might leave something to be desired. Sixteen hit and no deaths. Then again, in that sort of display people aren't necessarily aiming as carefully as they would in action.

pdf27
07-02-2008, 02:38 AM
Rumour has it that the injuries weren't caused by complete bullets but rather by the fragments of bullet and bits of blank firing attachment expelled after the first few rounds broke up when hitting the BFA. This would explain why various small children managed to get hit multiple times in the heart and survive.

herman2
07-15-2008, 01:02 PM
Well, if the Unites states can accidentally load live NUCLEAR BOMBS on its planes and not know where the bombs were for hours afterwards(like few mths ago when this really did happen)...then I guess mistaking live rounds for blanks is small potatoes in relevance to the :Opps I forgot" excuse......

Chevan
07-15-2008, 03:35 PM
I've read an interesting article that US air forces and Navy lost several small Nuclear charges for 40 years in different places around world's ocean.
Once, i rmember , the Nato bomber losed a bomb right after the take-off from the aircraft carrier.
The other one was a atom-submarine with nuclear wearpons ( seems Tresher ) were sunked with all of crew.
USSR also has a lot of simular cases.

flamethrowerguy
07-15-2008, 03:40 PM
Seems that the french army hasn't improved since WW2 after all...

herman2
07-15-2008, 03:52 PM
I've read an interesting article that US air forces and Navy lost several small Nuclear charges for 40 years in different places around world's ocean.
Once, i rmember , the Nato bomber losed a bomb right after the take-off from the aircraft carrier.
The other one was a atom-submarine with nuclear wearpons ( seems Tresher ) were sunked with all of crew.
USSR also has a lot of simular cases.

I am shocked. I thought this could only happen if it were Canada!..but if thats true that there have been more than one incident then I am speechless:shock:

Major Walter Schmidt
07-15-2008, 08:01 PM
now your talkin sense! g'job hermanmeister!

RifleMan20
07-16-2008, 01:06 AM
Them french, they get so bored that they shoot there own. tsk tsk

32Bravo
07-16-2008, 04:30 AM
I spent some time training with elements of the French Army. The line infantry were conscripts and had a serious problem with NFI all the way to sergeant major level. They just wanted to get their time in and leave.

The others I trained with were the 2eme R’egiment Etranger Parachutiste. A totally different kettle of fish. Professional to the core. Many of them were former British Paras. These are the chaps responsible for the French CRW and they are bloody good.

32Bravo
07-16-2008, 11:37 AM
2 REP :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r9LNXFvugk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0JgxvVHFkI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4rAzYcRbQs&feature=related

pdf27
07-16-2008, 03:45 PM
What do ya expect its the french for gods sake
Justify that statement or retract it. Or I'll do it for you. You have 24 hours.

Keystone Two-Eight
07-17-2008, 11:21 PM
What do ya expect its the french for gods sake


LOL, Who are we to criticize? Our Vice president shot a guy in the face with a shotgun while bird hunting!!

Uyraell
02-14-2009, 01:09 AM
I spent some time training with elements of the French Army. The line infantry were conscripts and had a serious problem with NFI all the way to sergeant major level. They just wanted to get their time in and leave.

The others I trained with were the 2eme R’egiment Etranger Parachutiste. A totally different kettle of fish. Professional to the core. Many of them were former British Paras. These are the chaps responsible for the French CRW and they are bloody good.

Forgive My ignorance here, but I had in mind "most" forces had mags marked externally and used for different rounds, some for "parades/displays" only?

The NZ Forces do it that way, so, for eg, a mag with a small yellow stripe might be "blanks only" loaded, while a small red stripe on a mag would make it "live rounds only". As I recall they've done something similar to that for decades.

Would have thought similar would exist in other Forces abroad.?

Regards, Uyraell.

kamehouse
02-14-2009, 03:59 AM
While doing my national service and shooting with the FAMAS ,I never noticed any difference between live mags or blank ones.

pdf27
02-14-2009, 05:35 AM
The UK used to use the same magazines for both. With the A2 modification to the SA80 system, however, they've moved over to bright yellow magazines for blank firing with an attachment which is supposed to prevent your being able to feed live rounds into it. The new blank firing attachment allegedly will function as a bullet catcher for the first round or two as well...

Nickdfresh
02-14-2009, 07:02 PM
All I know is that blanks fouled the M-16A1/A2 so much, we tried to fire them as little as possible in order to avoid cleaning sludge out of our weapons all night. :D

Rising Sun*
02-15-2009, 04:53 AM
All I know is that blanks fouled the M-16A1/A2 so much, we tried to fire them as little as possible in order to avoid cleaning sludge out of our weapons all night. :D

Not a problem with our 7.62mmSLRs (L1AI) as they rarely managed more than one shot with a blank firing attachment, which then necessitated using the cocking handle to reload.

This rather slowed down the pace and fun of supposedly semi-auto engagements.

Uyraell
05-11-2009, 09:37 AM
All I know is that blanks fouled the M-16A1/A2 so much, we tried to fire them as little as possible in order to avoid cleaning sludge out of our weapons all night. :D

I just re-read your reply Nick, and a memory occurred.

Our guys used to have 4 50-gallon drums, each filled to within a couple of inches to the rim with a cleaning fluid that cleaned the disassembled weapon components overnight, after firing blanks on an excercise or ceremonially. The barrels would be put in one drum, the receivers in another, and the trigger mechanisms in another, the various springs and such in the fourth drum. Naturally, the smaller parts were in wire mesh baskets in the drum.

Upon arrival in the armoury the following morning, the parts of the weapons would be removed from the various drums dried, lubricated, and the weapons re-assembled.
The drums and liquid content were then sent across to vehicle maintenance, where the liquid served as cleaner/de-greaser, much as it had with the firearms components. In return, clean, empty drums were sent to the armoury.

And the name of this wondrous liquid? . . . Coca Cola.

Yes, I am open to the fact my informant, a former soldier, may have been "pulling my leg" but I don't think he'd have reason to, being that he's 86 and a WW2 and Vietnam Veteran, and his weapons-cleaning tale is corroborated by the Special Forces Vietnam Veteran friend of mine. Both men independently assert that what I've outlined above is true.

Knowing that, as you can imagine, I don't often these days drink soda-pop of any description.

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
05-11-2009, 10:59 PM
Coke has just a bit of Phosphoric acid in its mix, this is a well known corrosion penetrant/ cleaner in industry. It takes a fair long soak in the stuff as the content is small, but it will work. But dont let this make you nervous about drinking coke, the acid in your gullet is far stronger than the wee bit in soda, nor does corrosion, and crud constantly renew itself as you body does.

Uyraell
05-12-2009, 03:30 AM
Many Thanks TG, I hadn't realised that info. :D
I don't habitually drink soda-pop any how, as it's expensive here in NZ.
Coffee is my beverage of choice, and, very very rarely, Merlot, still more rarely, beer.

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

jcompton
05-12-2009, 11:13 AM
Yea I believe the US govt. is still looking for one off the North Carolina coast. Lost 40 or 50 years ago. A pilot on a training mission was having engine trouble and didn't want to crash with the bomb on board so he ditched it in the ocean.

Uyraell
05-13-2009, 04:06 AM
Yea I believe the US govt. is still looking for one off the North Carolina coast. Lost 40 or 50 years ago. A pilot on a training mission was having engine trouble and didn't want to crash with the bomb on board so he ditched it in the ocean.

In the movie "Men of Honor" about Navy Salvage Divers, they portray the recovery of a lost Nuclear device, shortly after which, the main character loses his lower right leg, pushing a crewman to safety on deck as a sheer-leg tripod wire stay breaks loose as the recovered device is hoisted aboard the dive-tender vessel.
That event actually took place in real life: a result of similar circumstances to those you describe.

There is a Nuclear device off the coast of Portugal, and at least two others similarly on the seabed at the Gibraltar end of the Mediterranean. Rumour has it, that two more are on the seabed off the coast of Sakhalin, though being Russian, the existence of those has never been admitted. As Chevan says, both sides lost a few weapons over the years.

This makes a live-round misfire look small by comparison, even though more "newsworthy".

Kind Regards, Uyraell.