Posted by: Chuck | September 22, 2013

Atom bomb nearly exploded over North Carolina in 1961: UK paper


LONDON (Reuters) – A U.S. atom bomb nearly exploded in 1961 over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima, according to a declassified document published in a British newspaper on Friday. The Guardian newspaper said the document, obtained by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gave the first conclusive evidence that the United States came close to a disaster in January 1961. The incident happened when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina, after a B-52 bomber broke up in midair. There has been persistent speculation about how serious the incident was and the U.S. government has repeatedly denied its nuclear arsenal put Americans’ lives at risk through safety flaws, the newspaper said. But the newly published document said one of the two bombs behaved exactly in the manner of a nuclear weapon in wartime, with its parachute opening and its trigger mechanisms engaged. Only one low-voltage switch prevented a cataclysm. Fallout could have spread over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and even New York City, the paper said, threatening the lives of millions of people. (Source: Reuters News 9/21/13)

http://news.yahoo.com/atom-bomb-nearly-exploded-over-north-carolina-1961-230654850.html

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