A tragedy was narrowly avoided this week when some 20 rockets used for the Iron Dome anti-missile system fell off a truck, narrowly avoiding hitting soldiers who were transporting the rockets. Parts of several rockets broke off, and several soldiers were shaken up by the narrow miss, but no one was injured. The damage is estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The incident took place as technicians working on the Iron Dome project hoisted several cases containing the Tamir rockets, used in the Iron Dome system. The rockets are fired when an enemy missile attack is detected, and they intercept the attacking missiles before they can hit Israeli communities under attack by terrorists.
The rockets were under maintenance by the crew when they fell from the vehicle to the floor of a bunker where they were stored. The cases crashed to the ground, with several of the rockers sustaining significant damage, while other were not damaged at all. There was no danger of the rockets exploding, officials said, because they are programmed to explode only after being fired.
Air Force Commander Ido Nechushtan has ordered an investigation into the incident. An initial investigation indicated that technicians had failed to properly secure the rockets before hoisting them up. In a statement, the IDF said that the incident occurred on Monday, and that “the damage to the rockets was being checked by professionals. In light of the incident an investigative panel has been assembled to examine the incident.”
Until the results of that investigation are in, the statement added, all maintenance work on the Iron Dome rockets has been halted.