Thursday, July 31, 2008

Minuteman Missile Truck Mishap in North Dakota 7-31-08

Truck carrying missile booster tips in N.D.
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer Air Force Times

Posted : Thursday Jul 31, 2008 18:35:38 EDT
A military transport vehicle carrying an unarmed Minuteman III booster tipped over this morning on its way to a 91st Missile Wing launch facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

Early reports show the vehicle tipped over on the gravel access road after the road gave out under the truck, according to an Air Force official. The accident occurred between the sparsely populated towns of Makoti and Parshall, N.D., about 70 miles southwest of Minot, right off County Road 24.

“They are still investigating now but we know there is no danger to the public and no nuclear materials were onboard the vehicle at the time of the accident,” said Maj. Laurie Arellano, an Air Force Space Command spokeswoman.

Minot emergency and security officials immediately responded to the scene, along with local fire department officials, she said. No injuries to the vehicle’s crew were reported other than minor cuts and bruises, she said.

Missile wing officials were still trying to right the vehicle and the missile’s booster as of 4:30 p.m. EST, Arellano said. The booster was the only component of the intercontinental ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads aboard the transport vehicle at the time of the accident, she said.

Investigators are still on the scene and the wing intends to keep the truck at the scene until the investigation is complete.

However, sensitive missile components will be removed and transported to a more secure area, Arellano said. Base security forces will maintain a cordon around the truck as long as it remains on the road.

It’s unclear whether the 45-foot, 65,000-pound booster sustained any damage due to the accident, an official said. Diesel fuel from the truck was spilled at the accident, not fuel for the booster.

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