updated 11/1/2006 6:53:22 PM ET 2006-11-01T23:53:22

The Air Force will pay more than $500,000 to an Ocean County elementary school that was mistakenly shot by an F-16 on a training maneuver two years ago.

Under a settlement announced Wednesday, the Air Force will pay $519,070 in compensation to the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School. The building was damaged by 27 rounds of inert 20mm ammunition from an air cannon mounted on the plane during a Nov. 3, 2004 nighttime mission over the New Jersey Pinelands.

The military blamed the pilot for the accident, but also said poorly designed controls in the F-16 played a role.

"The Air Force has done the right thing," said state Rep. Jim Saxton. "Their agreement goes a long way towards repairing the actual damages to the school building as well as keeping their relationship with the community healthy."

School officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

No one was injured in the mishap, which rattled the southern Ocean County region surrounding the Warren Grove Gunnery Range. Eight of the 2-inch lead rounds punched through the school's roof, knocking down ceiling tiles.

At least one round struck a child's desk, and others scuffed the asphalt in the parking lot. The rounds explode on impact when they are live.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments