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1982 Harpoon missile misfire incident

On 6 September 1982, a Danish frigate, the HDMS Peder Skram, accidentally fired a Harpoon missile during maneuvers in the Kattegat.[1] The missile traveled 34 kilometers at low level, severing several power lines before striking some trees after which it exploded. The fireball and subsequent shock wave destroyed four unoccupied summer cottages and damaged a further 130 buildings in the immediate vicinity. No human injury was reported.

Harpoon missile misfire incident
Date: 6 September 1982
Site: Lumsås, Zealand, Denmark
Caused by: Royal Danish Navy
Cause: Technical malfunction
Casualties/injuries: None
Other damage: Extensive property damage


A navy investigation into the matter concluded that a technical malfunction was the cause of the launch as it happened without the launch key being activated. The missile system had undergone maintenance and was in the process of being checked by an expert from the navy material command, who was later charged and convicted for negligence, though most charges were later dropped following a second investigation. McDonnell Douglas, the manufacturer of the missile later paid the Danish government a compensation, which covered all the damages made by the missile.[2]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ List of anniversaries, Danish Navy; last accessed on 26 June 2007.
  2. ^ HARPOON missil ødelagde et større sommerhusområde ved Lumsås, Johnny E. Balsved; last accessed on 26 June 2007.

Coordinates: 55°55′57″N 11°31′51″E / 55.93250°N 11.53083°E / 55.93250; 11.53083