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Crash Site Tested for Radioactivity

March 18, 1994|Associated Press

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Air Force experts are checking for radioactive contamination at the site where a plane carrying an atomic bomb crashed in 1950.

Scientists began collecting soil, water and vegetation samples for testing this week where the B-29 went down, killing 12 people and injuring 60 others. The area is 50 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The Air Force confirmed last month that the plane had been on a secret mission and carried an atomic bomb, with its nuclear core removed but containing depleted uranium.

Two years after the crash, Travis Elementary School was built about 100 yards from the crash site. The school has been closed for renovation for the past year and is scheduled to reopen in September, 1995.

"At this point, we don't see any need for the public to be concerned, especially about the area of the Travis Elementary School," base spokeswoman Lt. Nicole Foster said Thursday during a news conference.

Lt. Gene Bonano, a health physicist from Brooks Air Force Base in Texas, said preliminary tests have revealed nothing so far. He said the likelihood of a health hazard from the crash is minimal.

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