When it was over, an F-16 lay burnt to a crisp on a tarmac in Belgium.
The pictures tell the story: Mechanics at an Air Force base in Florenne were working on a nearby F-16 last Thursday and accidentally triggered that jet's cannon, which fired at the other plane.
Those rounds struck the recently fueled F-16, which exploded into a fireball. A source told the Belgian broadcaster VRT that one of the mechanics had accidentally fired rounds from the jet's 20-millimeter multi-barrel cannon.
The Belgian Air Force said another F-16 also suffered collateral damage from the rounds.
NEWS @BelgiumDefence - Le 11 octobre 2018 vers 14 h10, un incendie s’est déclaré au cours de travaux de maintenance sur un F-16 sur la Base de Florennes. L'avion a brûlé. Un deuxième avion a subi des dommages collatéraux.— Belgian Air Force???? (@BeAirForce) October 11, 2018
The two mechanics involved in the incident were treated at the scene for potential hearing loss.
"You can't help thinking of what a disaster this could have been," Col. Didier Polome told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
The Belgian Air Force said the bizarre incident is being investigated by Belgium's Air Safety Directorate.
ABC News' Fergal Gallagher contributed to this story.