An Ammo Box Fell From A Black Hawk And Crashed Through The Roof Of A Texas School

Bullet Points
The box of ammunition that from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crashed through the roof of Parkland Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, on May 17, 2018.
Kurt Chirbas/NBC News/Twitter

A box of ammunition fell from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crashed through the roof of Parkland Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday afternoon, landing in the middle of a classroom, the Associated Press reports.


  • No one was injured: Luckily, the classroom was empty when the incident occurred around 3:45 p.m., NBC News reports, well after students were released for the day. The ammo box did, however, cause enough damage to knock out power in part of the building.

  • The unit involved: Army Col. Jay Hopkins, the relatively new commander of the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, took responsibility in a statement, saying he was sorry "for the damage and grateful no one was hurt," per the Associated Press.
  • More importantly: What ammo is that? You sad, sad bastards. The general armament on Army Black Hawks includes two M60D 7.62mm machine guns on M144 mounts. To my untrained eye, this sort of looks like .50 caliber belt-fed rounds for the FNH M3M/GAU-21 machine gun, which might make sense since some Black Hawks have touted .50 cal GAU-19/A Gatling guns in the past. The photo of the ammo can doesn't specify, but it does appear to include misfire instructions. I welcome your guesses and ridicule.
  • Not the worst drop this year: Relax, Col. Hopkins! At the end of February, a Canadian Armed Forces Griffon search-and-rescue helicopter returning to a U.S. Coast Guard station in Florida following a training exercise basically bombed a random house in Miami with an uninflated life raft. So things could have been a lot worse.

The news is still deeply uncomfortable,  especially considering that at least 10 people were killed amid another hail of bullets at a Texas high school shooting on Friday morning.

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