/ 5 September 2007

US bomber mistakenly flies with nuclear weapons

A United States bomber mistakenly flew with nuclear warheads over the US last week, but the air force on Wednesday said the flight was not a threat to public safety.

The air force has started an investigation into the incident and a review of all operational procedures.

”All evidence we have seen so far points to an isolated mistake,” said Edward Thomas, an air force spokesman.

”It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at all times. The error was discovered by airmen during internal air force checks. The weapons were safe and remained in air force control and custody at all times,” Thomas said.

The US military maintains a policy against discussing any nuclear weapons matters, and Thomas did not confirm the weapons aboard the B-52 were nuclear.

Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman also would not comment on the incident, citing that policy.

But one defence official confirmed the missiles were nuclear.

The B-52 flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Thursday. — Reuters