Fake Bomb Falls From A Fighter Jet, Crashes Into A Parking Lot - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fake Bomb Falls From A Fighter Jet, Crashes Into A Parking Lot

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SUDLERSVILLE, Md. - It's not something you see everyday.

A bomb falling from the sky and crashing into the ground just feet away from a Sudlersville bar.

The scare happened around 9 p.m. Thursday outside of Darlene's Tavern.

"I thought it was fireworks," said Gene Crow of Sudlersville.

"All we could see was smoke," said Lena Hartlove, manager of Darlene's Tavern in Sudlersville.

"I thought she was kidding and she says you guys gotta come see this! said Abbie Karavas of Sudlersville.

What they saw was thick smoke billowing onto the outdoor deck of the tavern.

Hartlove and Karavas say something crashed into the Earth.

"They thought it was a pipe bomb, then they thought it was a meteor, then they started digging and realized it was actual bomb," said Hartlove.

That's right. A bomb.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office Bomb Squad dug a hole about five feet deep and pulled out a blue colored bomb. It landed feet away from the outdoor patio of the bar that also has a propane tank nearby. The Maryland State Highway Administration provided assistance with excavation equipment to remove the device from the ground.

According to Lt. Col. Charles Kohler with the Maryland National Guard, a pilot was conducting a flight operation Thursday night when an electrical releasing device caused one training bomb to become unattached from an A-10 Warthog jet. The bomb had no explosives. It was a BDU-33 and weighed about 33 pounds.

"Our pilots and mechanics are highly trained and they have served on multiple deployments overseas in combat environments. They have an excellent training record. This is an unfortunate incident that has occurred and we want to do everything we can to prevent it from happening in the future," said Lt. Col. Kohler.

Kohler says in the 10 years he's been in the guard, nothing like this has ever happened.
Kohler says due to the malfunction, the pilot didn't know the bomb fell off the fighter jet.

"The pilot could not detect the status of the bomb until he got back to base," said Lt. Col. Kohler.

Kohler says the pilot was completing a training mission from Willow Grove Range, which is north of Atlantic City and returning to Warfield International Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland.

"They were dropping inert bombs, meaning they were target practicing bombs. They don't explode when they hit. They are identified by where they hit," said Lt. Col. Kohler.

Some who were at Darlene's Tavern say the initial discovery was a bit scary.

"They made us close up and get rid of all the customers. This could have been really devastating, even catastrophic," said Darlene Hurley, owner of Darlene's Tavern.

Others managed to make light of what could have been an unfortunate situation.

"It made me feel better that ...," began Hartlove.

"That they're just bombing us with fake bombs? Yup that made us feel a lot better," continued Karavas.

Kohler says the incident is under investigation.

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