President's armoured limo taken out - by a tank full of diesel
President Obama's presidential limo had to be carted off by a flatbed lorry – because red-faced staff filled the tank with the wrong fuel.
The Beast, as it is better known, stuttered to a halt in Israel ahead of Obama's state visit to the country.> The bulletproof fortress-on-wheels is designed to withstand huge blasts and bio-chemical attack, but was unable to cope when the tank was filled with diesel instead of petrol.
Embarrassed security staff had to call a local break down firm to collect the stranded limo.
"We experienced mechanical trouble with one of the cars," confessed Edwin Donovan of the Secret Service.
However despite the blunder, Obama won't have noticed it was missing as security forces scrambled another car from the US embassy in Jordan.
The $300,000 armoured limo is the pride of the American motor industry. Built by Cadillac, it has armour plating to protect it from gunfire and also features a complex air conditioning system to protect its occupants from bio-chemical attack. In the refrigerated boot, a blood bank stores samples of the president's blood group, along with an oxygen supply and fire-fighting system.
Each door on the limo is armour plated and up to eight inches thick – with cubby-holes for pump-action shotguns.
The fuel tank is armour plated and filled with fire-preventing foam, but obviously has no defences for a drop of diesel.
These defences mean the car – officially designated Cadillac One – is estimated to weigh nine tonnes, meaning a heavy job for the tow-truck.