In the mid-1990s while a student at a US university during a computer science lecture, my professor (not a TA or grad student) told us a story of "witnessing" a large, then old-fashioned metal hard disk platter somehow breaking free of its mounting while spinning and thus flying through the air to embed itself violently halfway through one of the walls of the room.
The unfortunate hard drive in question was a cabinet-sized device. But not a tape machine.
At the time, I don't recall any questioning of the veracity of this story, but in hindsight it sounds pretty fishy. IIRC the point of the story was something about information density and how then-modern (1990s) hard drives were so much smaller & more capable. So it might have just been a convenient way of making his point. Or at least an embellishment. I'll allow that it could have been passed down and not meant as an outright fabrication but was still presented as a real event.
Doing some web searches turn up nothing. On the other hand... can't prove a negative.
Are there any convincing or reliable accounts of an incident like this? I guess the alleged event would have taken place between ± 1975-1990 based on what I think my prof's rough age was at the time.