California teacher blows hand off trying to squash bug with artillery shell
Friday, April 07, 2006
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) – A teacher who kept a 40-mm artillery shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the ammunition to try to squash a bug, authorities say. The 13-centimetre-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class. Part of Collas right hand was severed and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso, fire Capt. Tom Weinell said. No one else was injured. He was reported in stable condition at a hospital. The teacher slammed the shell down in an attempt to kill something that was buzzing or crawling across the desk, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright. Colla found the 40-mm round while hunting years ago and “obviously he didnt think the round was live,” said Dennis Huston, who teaches computer design with Colla.