A botched TV stunt on US show MythBusters ended with an errant cannonball smashing into a family’s bedroom from a bomb range 600 metres away.
The failed experiment was testing whether other types of projectiles shot from a cannon would have the same speed and impact as the steel ball.
Instead of hitting water-filled bins, the cannonball passed over them, crashed through a safety wall and careered off the hill behind it, said JD Nelson, of Alameda County sheriff’s department in San Francisco Bay, California.
‘It missed the target and took kind of an oddball bounce,’ he said. ‘It was almost like skipping a rock on a lake.’
The cannonball rocketed into the front door of a home and out the back through its master bedroom, before landing in a neighbour’s parked minivan.
No one was injured and the home’s residents did not even wake up until the broken drywall settled on top of them.
The show’s co-hosts went to the neighbourhood to speak to those affected. ‘We are really, really grateful and glad that no one was hurt,’ co-host and executive producer Adam Savage said.
Producers have used the cannon they built at the hillside range more than 50 times without incident, said Mr Nelson.
Jasbir Gill, who owns the minivan, said: ‘I was in the van just five minutes before this happened.’