A U.S. hydrogen bomb nearly detonated on America's east coast, with a single switch averting a blast which would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that flattened Hiroshima, a newly published book says.
In a recently declassified document, reported in a new book by Eric Schlosser, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories said that one simple, vulnerable switch prevented nuclear catastrophe.
The Guardian newspaper published the document on Saturday.
Two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on Jan. 24, 1961 after a B-52 bomber broke up in flight. One of the bombs apparently acted as if it was being armed and fired — its parachute opened and trigger mechanisms engaged.