A mockup of a Mark IV bomb.

Department of National Defence to search for lost bomb off Banks Island

Reports of part of a newly-discovered Mark IV bomb, once lost by a U.S. aircraft, has prompted the navy to depart to waters near Rupert

The Department of National Defence is preparing to send a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel near Banks Island in the coming days to search for a potentially lost nuke.

The search comes after a report was made to the RCMP regarding a suspicious object seen underwater that may be part of the Mark IV bomb, once lost by a U.S. aircraft. The report prompted the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to depart to waters near Prince Rupert to confirm if the object in question, is in fact, part of a lost bomb that was inadvertently dropped in the area by an American B-36 bomber in 1950.

“The CAF treats reports of suspected unexploded ordnances very seriously and we continue to investigate this matter. Information provided by the US Military indicates this was likely a B4 weapon with a dummy capsule carried by the B-36 aircraft that crashed in the vicinity of Prince Rupert on 13 Feb 1950,” wrote head of media relations at the Department of National Defence, Daniel Le Bouthillier in an email on Nov. 4.

After multiple engines caught fire and the cold weather caused ice to build up on the aircraft on a journey from Alaska to Texas, 17 crew members bailed out of the bomber. Twelve were later rescued while five perished. The crew tried to steer the plane into open water and dispose of the bomb away from populated areas, but the plane eventually crashed on a mountain north of Hazelton.

“That particular dummy capsule did not contain any nuclear material and there is no suspected radiological safety hazard from this ordnance. The Canadian Armed Forces plans to investigate this further using a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel to investigate more closely in the next 1-2 weeks,” wrote Le Bouthillier. The bomb contained lead instead of plutonium, nullifying its catastrophic, destructive power, which in a normal Mark IV ‘fat bomb’, could have explosive yields of up to 31 kilotons. The bomb had a weight of up to 10,900 pounds.

“The safety and security of Canadians is the Canadian Armed Forces’ top priority. We treat reports of suspected unexploded ordnances very seriously and we work very closely with federal and municipal partners to ensure public safety.”

-With files from Shannon Lough

 

Just Posted

VIDEO and story: Heart of Our City — Join the club

Trish Banighen keeps a full schedule in Prince Rupert

Wolverine’s first open house

Questions answered on the Prince Rupert Fuels Service project for the port

Update: Youth to be charged for second degree murder and attempted murder

Prince Rupert RCMP have 17-year-old in custody after stabbing of 69-year-old couple on Oct. 18

Poetry festival travels to Rupert by train for Friday

Poetry readings from Canadian poets and open mic for writers from the region

Is Prince Rupert prepared for an earthquake?

B.C. ShakeOut earthquake drills took place across the province on Oct. 19

Practising for a ‘quake

Prince Rupert students did earthquake drill as a part of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

Most Read