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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Navy Accidentally Shells Vladivostok

ReutersA girl walking past a crater caused by an errant dummy shell that was fired Friday as part of Navy Day preparations.
A dummy shell fired from a warship veered off course Friday and landed just feet from a building in a residential area of Vladivostok, less than two months after a similar incident off the Gulf of Finland.

The anti-ship shell was fired during rehearsals for Sunday’s Navy Day celebrations in the far eastern port. For reasons yet to be determined, the projectile changed course after takeoff and landed beside a nine-story building, breaking windows and leaving a 1.5-meter crater, RIA-Novosti reported.

No one was hurt in the incident, and the Navy said it was investigating.

A bomb disposal team from the Pacific Fleet was sent to dig out and remove the shell. Military officials said it was intended only to make a sound effect for the parade.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Roman Martov said experts would evaluate what caused the bomb to deviate from its course. “All the parameters were set right, it was supposed to fall into the ocean,” he said, Interfax reported.

On May 28, a similar incident happened in the Leningrad region, when a Russian warship in the Gulf of Finland fired 14 shells in the direction of a dacha settlement on shore.

Fragments of the shells rained down on the village, but damage was minimal and no one was injured. The Navy later promised the dacha settlement “several tens of thousands of rubles” in damages, Ekho Moskvy reported.

 The military is not considering abandoning its Bulava naval intercontinental ballistic missile, despite numerous failed test launches, in favor of the Sineva missile that is already in service on Russian nuclear submarines, Chief Navy Commander Vladimir Vysotsky told RIA-Novosti on Sunday.

Only four of 11 Bulava launches have fully succeeded.

Vysotsky said the Bulava, capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads, was “not an absolutely ideal weapon” but added that he didn’t see any alternative.