One of the great things about living in this modern society, apart from all the creature comforts like smartphones and underpants for said smartphone, is that we no longer have to live in fear of being struck down by cannonballs hurtling through the air around us.

At least for the most part we don’t. But every once in a blue moon someone might just find a 40kg (88lbs) lump of iron blasting through the wall of their home and landing right next to where they are sleeping. This time that unlucky person was one Keiya Yamamoto of Kawasaki City.

At approximately 9:15 on the morning of Friday, 5 September, an iron projectile measuring 30cm x 10cm (12in x 4in) came zooming towards a two-story apartment building in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The metallic mass penetrated the south-side wall of the apartment, just below a window on the second floor. Fortunately, the resident of that apartment was not home at the time.

Keiya Yamamoto was not quite so lucky, however. Having smashed through the wall of the apartment above his, the misshapen cannonball then broke in through the ceiling of his bedroom and crashed down barely a meter from his pillow as he slept.

The following is a highly technical computer simulation detailing the iron’s assumed trajectory using precise calculations based on the weight and size of the projectile and materials used in the apartment building.

Mr. Yamamoto later told the Asahi Shimbun:

“I heard a loud boom and woke up to see clouds of dust swirling everywhere. The TV fell down and glass from the stand was scattered everywhere. I didn’t know what just happened.”

Kojiro Toriumi, president of Kanazawa Iron Works, which is situated roughly 50m (164ft) up the street from Yamamoto’s apartment, later provided an explanation for the pirate-style projectile along with his apology. The iron mass was apparently a jig (a kind of tool used to hold and guide metal or wood during the manufacturing process) that was being used with a 2,500-ton press. Details weren’t given, but clearly something went very wrong inside the press and the jig was thrown out with tremendous force, sending it flying through the factory roof and into the neighborhood sky.

Mr. Yamamoto’s 75-year-old mother was also in the apartment at the time of the accident but she, too, escaped without injury.

Also on the bright side, the Yamamotos should now be in line for a brand new TV (at the very least), courtesy of Kanazawa Iron Works. We might recommend one of those 110-inchers from Samsung.

Source: Asahi Simbun via Hachima Kiko (Japanese)
Top image: Google Maps
Inset image-like thing: RocketNews24