Nukes Go Missing in Mix-Up

B-52 flies cross-country with five warheads mistakenly attached
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2007 11:50 AM CDT
B-52   ((c) collisionality)
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(Newser) – Five nuclear warheads were briefly unaccounted for last week, the Military Times reports, when the warheads were not removed from missiles carried by a B-52 bomber prior to its flight from North Dakota to Louisiana. Though the weapons were in Air Force control at all times and there was no danger to the public, an investigation is under way.

The Aug. 30 flight lasted 3½ hours; one expert said there was no risk of nuclear detonation, even if the plane had crashed, because of Air Force safeguards. The B-52 was loaded with missiles to be decommissioned, and the warheads were supposed to be removed from them before departure. The error was not discovered until the plane landed in Louisiana. (Read more nuclear weapons stories.)