Nuclear Explosions in Spain !
DID YOU KNOW ?
One of the most celebrated accidents took place over Palomares, Spain in January 1966 when a U.S. B-52 collided with a KC-135 tanker during midair refueling and released all four of its hydrogen bombs in the ensuing explosion. Seven of the 11 crewmen aboard both planes were killed.
The high explosive igniters on two bombs detonated on impact, spreading radioactive material, including plutonium, over a wide area of the Spanish countryside. A third bomb landed relatively intact and was recovered.
The fourth bomb landed in the Mediterranean Sea, and U.S. military searchers took nearly three months to find and recover the device intact.
At the time of the explosions, villagers, who earned their living mostly by fishing and farming, feared the plutonium radiation might have contaminated not only their bodies but also the waters they fished and the soil they farmed.
But in 1966, Spain was under the thumb of Gen. Francisco Franco and very little information about the accident was officially released. In order to minimize the consequences of the accident, Spain’s Information and Tourism Minister Manuel Fraga and U.S. Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke strode into the Mediterranean near Palomares to demonstrate findings indicating that the waters were safe.
In 2017 CIEMAT still detected higher levels of plutonium, uranium and americium than average over Palomares.