• Short Summary

    The Second World War vessel "Le Baron Russell", with its cargo of deadly nerve gas unwanted by the United States, began the four-hour process of being scuttled on Tuesday (August 18).

  • Description

    The Second World War vessel "Le Baron Russell", with its cargo of deadly nerve gas unwanted by the United States, began the four-hour process of being scuttled on Tuesday (August 18).

    It now lies with its sixty tons of cargo at the bottom of the Atlantic 165 miles (kilometres) north of the Bahama Islands.

    The Pentagon hopes that the final sea-dumping will only cause limited contamination.

    During the month-long public battle which preceded the scuttling, the U.S. army has consistently argued that this was the safe way of disposing of the 418 concrete coffins containing the gas.

    First reports from the dumping site 280 miles off Cape Kennedy showed no signs of the gas spewing out when it hit the bottom, as conservationists feared.

    This was the last dumping at sea by the United States. Under a new process expected to go into operation later this year, consignments of obsolete gas will be de-toxified on land.

    During congressional and court hearings before the dumping, army experts said the gas might kill organisms in the immediate vicinity, but that any contamination would be limited.

    They pointed out that more than 1,700 similar containers were dumped at 700 feet (2,100 metres) deep off New Jersey in 1967 and 1968, and no sign of contamination had been discovered in the area since then.

    The dumping two years ago was carried out in public ignorance, but since then, the question of pollution has become major public concern. A 1969 law required the Pentagon to reveal any schemes which might cause biological contamination.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5FXUMSDYO6QWREVK8DB6AS4UD
    Media URN:
    VLVA5FXUMSDYO6QWREVK8DB6AS4UD
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    19/08/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:00:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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