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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.
Commander, MC, USN, and Chief, Division of Forensic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
Stock #: JFS12387J