Promoted

Report: U.S. Narrowly Escaped Nuclear Disaster In 1961

That was a close one.

A hydrogen bomb 260 times more powerful than the device that leveled Hiroshima was nearly detonated on America’s east coast, a new book says.

A recently declassified document reveals it was just a simple switch that prevented complete nuclear catastrophe in North America, said Eric Schlosser, author of “Command and Control.”

It was on Jan. 24, 1961 that a B-52 bomber broke up mid-flight, accidentally dropping two hydrogen bombs over Goldsboro, N.C.

“One simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe!” wrote Parker F. Jones, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories who analyzed the near-catastrophe in a 1969 document titled, “How I learned to mistrust the H-Bomb.”

And that’s not the lone close-call: Using the Freedom of Information Act, Schlosser discovered that there were at least 700 “significant” accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons between 1950 and 1968.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at rachel.zarrell@buzzfeed.com.
 
 
Here Are The Top Stories
  • Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers were hit with more than $300,000 in fines for selling toy guns that look like real guns.
  • President Obama will unveil a plan that is considered to be "the strongest action ever taken" in the U.S. to combat climate change.
  • California Gov. Jerry Brown called for a state of emergency as wildfires burned thousands of acres by Sunday and forced hundreds of evacuations.
Get The News App

More News

More News

Now Buzzing