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Watch this mortar team training session go up in flames

Two Army soldiers practicing with a 120mm mortar encountered a dangerous situation when one of the shells burst into flames. (Joey Chitwood/YouTube)
May 31, 2016

United States Army troops in training are expected to master their weapons in order to be adequately prepared for combat. Throughout their training, accidents sometimes happen, and with such dangerous equipment at their disposal, those accidents can sometimes end up being very serious.

A routine training exercise with a mortar team quickly turned into a fiery situation when a soldier attempted to power through a mistake. The result was a dangerous flaming mortar that was quickly engulfing everything in its path, and the entire situation was caught on video.

Two Army soldiers practicing with a 120mm mortar encountered a dangerous situation when one of the shells burst into flames.
(Joey Chitwood/YouTube)

The trainees can be seen successfully launching a couple mortars before things appear to go wrong. Their rhythm is thrown off when one of the shells appears to get stuck.

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The shells are supposed to easily slide into the muzzle before firing. When a mortar is stuck, a ceasefire is usually called so that the troops can survey the issue. However, these trainees tried to fix a situation that had already gone too far.

Check out the entire video below:

With the stuck launcher still sticking out of the muzzle, the troop attempts to push it down further before deciding to yank it out. But unfortunately, it was too late.

The firing pin was likely already struck as the soldier man-handled it inside the muzzle. Because of this, the muzzle was primed and ready to fire with the trainees hand still grasped around the shell.

Two Army soldiers practicing with a 120mm mortar encountered a dangerous situation when one of the shells burst into flames.
(Joey Chitwood/YouTube)

As a last ditch effort, the soldier finally pulls the shell out of the muzzle, but the mortar ignites in a huge burst of flames. The wide range of the fire catches the shell and ignites it too.

In a split second, the shell is completely engulfed in flames with the soldier basically holding it in his arms.

Two Army soldiers practicing with a 120mm mortar encountered a dangerous situation when one of the shells burst into flames.
(Joey Chitwood/YouTube)

Acting quickly and decisively, the soldier decides to toss the flaming shell away from his post and on to the desert floor. The flames follow the shell to the ground and fortunately seem to be away from the trainees who have run for cover.

The video cuts off right as the shell hits the ground, and no further information on the condition of the soldiers is given. However, they appear to have escaped any serious harm from the ordeal.