Volume 32, Issue 3 (May 1987)
A Fatal Wound from an Unusual Military Projectile: Potential Dangers of Live Military Ordnance to the Autopsy Pathologist
During ground maintenance on an F-14 aircraft, a worker was removing the Mark 124 cartridge activated devices (CADS) from the aircraft when a second worker entered the cockpit of the aircraft and energized the electrical system, causing the four CADS to detonate. One of the four CADS became an airborne projectile. It struck the first worker in front of the right arm, passed through his chest, and became embedded in his thoracic spine. An immediate concern at autopsy was whether or not the device retained any explosive potential. Recommendations for autopsy procedures in cases involving military ordnance are discussed.