Sixty tons of deadly American nerve gas plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday ( August 18 ).
Sixty tons of deadly American nerve gas plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday ( August 18 ). The gas was aboard a World War Two Liberty ship, deliberately scuttled north of the Bahamas.
Stormcentre of controversy and a last ditch lawcourt battle by conservationalists, the lethal gas cargo in its 418 concrete coffins was reportedly intact when it hit the Atlantic bed. There were not immediate signs of contamination in the area.
The Pentagon followed the dumping with an announcement that in future obsolete nerve gas will be burned, not dumped at sea. It added that the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, near Denver, Colorado, would assume responsibility for disposing of the gas now stored in Okinawa and at various places in the U.S.A.
Two detoxification plants are being built at the arsenal. One will start burning, 3,408 one-ton tanks of mustard gas in the autumn. The other will be used to destroy over 21,000 nerve gas clusters -- each containing 76 small bombs -- next spring.