An unarmed RAF surveillance aircraft, operating in international airspace over the Black Sea, was fired on by an incompetent – or deranged – Russian pilot. The first missile failed to achieve target lock; the second fell harmlessly into the sea.
If either missile had worked as intended, we would have entered a crisis of staggering consequence. It is no exaggeration to say that it could easily have started World War Three;
Source: The Telegraph | Russia’s incompetent air force is one mistake away from sparking war with Nato
Does "consequence" mean "importance" or does it mean "result"?