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

B.C’s salmon advisory council comes to Rupert, skips Terrace

Public engagement tour excludes all non-coastal communities

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Tyler Dozzi breaks national record, ‘running like a madman’

Terrace runner sets new time in Boston in his last U20 race

Most intervenor requests in crucial natural gas pipeline case rejected

At stake is whether gas pipeline to LNG Canada plant should fall under federal jurisdiction

VIDEO: RCMP stop traffic with candy canes to remind drivers not to drink and drive

Police want to prevent any bad choices from being made this holiday season

This Week News Show – Episode 115

Highlights from this week in Prince Rupert

Shop Prince Rupert is back

These businesses are all taking part in the Shop Prince Rupert event until December 21 at noon

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Most Read