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On this day: January 17

Published On: Jan 16 2013 02:10:25 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 17 2014 01:00:00 AM CST

Hawaii's monarchy is overthrown, Popeye makes his comic strip debut, Muhammad Ali is born, Operation Desert Storm begins, and news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaks online, all on this day.

OTD January 17 - Palomares incident
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U.S. Navy

1966: A B-52G bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker during mid-air refueling at 31,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea. The KC-135 was completely destroyed when its fuel load ignited, killing all four crew members. The B-52G broke apart, killing three of the seven crew members aboard. The non-nuclear explosives in two of the weapons detonated upon impact with the ground, resulting in the contamination of nearly a square mile by plutonium. The bomb that fell into the sea was recovered intact after a search lasting more than two months. It's the silver tube seen here in the foreground on the fantail of the submarine rescue ship USS Petrel.

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