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

Council Briefs: Cunningham puts “resident rate” for transportation on table

Councillor Adey concerned over RCMP’s lack of communication with public

Skeena-Bulkley Valley once again goes NDP

Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach set to follow in Nathan Cullen’s footsteps

Security guard bitten, punched by patient at Terrace hospital

Violent incident one of many in Northwest B.C., nurses union says

Charles Hays boys are kings of the Northwest cross country zones

Prince Rupert’s team, and six individuals, qualify for provincials in Abbotsford

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

Play-by-play: Bachrach new MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, all 219 polls reported

Bachrach beats Conservative candidate Claire Rattée by more than 3,000

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Most Read