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Man injured after rocket launcher exploded in his face speaks out on the horrifying experience

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Man injured after rocket launcher exploded in his face speaks out on the horrifying experience

Featured Image Credit: YouTube / Ballistic High-Speed

A US Army veteran who had a rocket launcher explode in his face on video has spoken out about the horrifying experience.

Adam Knowles is used to handling weapons thanks to his YouTube channel Ballistic High-Speed, which looks into 'the vast world of firearms, ballistics, explosives, and many other topics'.

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Knowles is the Armorer and Weapons Specialist for the page, and in November he was helping to shoot a video demonstrating the effects of 'backblast' - the release of hot gasses from a rocket launcher.

As part of the video, Knowles put the weapon on to his shoulder with a ballistic dummy's head positioned behind him.

He was intending to show what would happen to the dummy, but instead the weapon exploded in what the team described as a 'catastrophic failure'.

Knowles was engulfed in flames as his helmet and goggles flew off and he was knocked to the ground.

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His co-workers immediately began rushing to his aid, but not before Knowles experienced severe injuries including a broken jaw, shrapnel wounds and third-degree burns, resulting in medical expenses of over $300,000.

Adam Knowles was experienced in handling weapons. Credit: YouTube/ Ballistic High-Speed
Adam Knowles was experienced in handling weapons. Credit: YouTube/ Ballistic High-Speed

The veteran is also reported to have suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, but thankfully he lived to tell the tale - and to watch it back on video.

Knowles watched the footage in another video shared to the Ballistic High-Speed YouTube channel, where he could be seen explaining that the incident 'started off normal'.

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Knowles explained the rocket launcher had exploded due to a booster failure which caused the weld to fail and a pressure bump in the tube.

Knowles revealed he was lucky that the weld had failed first, because it 'acted as a release for pressure' and prevented the incident from potentially being much worse.

Footage caught the moment the weapon exploded. Credit: YouTube/Ballistic High-Speed
Footage caught the moment the weapon exploded. Credit: YouTube/Ballistic High-Speed

“I remember counting down to one, and then next thing I knew I was on the ground and my arms were entirely black,” Knowles said.

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As he watched the footage back in slow-motion, Knowles expressed his shock at the impact of the weapon.

"'Holy s**t!, I can't even see my helmet leave the frame. It's no wonder all the doctors told me I ought to be dead," he said.

Despite having made a lot of progress with his recovery in the weeks after the accident, Knowles told followers in December he still had to care for his wounds, saying: "I'm not out of the woods on that yet."

Viewers have expressed their shock that Knowles survived the blast, with one stunned YouTube user describing the video as 'truly one of the craziest and most unbelievable videos [they've] seen in 30 years of internet'.

Topics: Community, YouTube, Viral

Emily Brown
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