A fire caused $1 million worth of damage at an unmanned underground nuclear launch site last spring, but the Air Force didn't find out about it until five days later, an Air Force official said Thursday.
The May 23 fire burned itself out after an hour or two, and multiple safety systems prevented any threat of an accidental launch of the Minuteman III missile, Maj. Laurie Arellano said. She said she was not allowed to say whether the missile was armed with a nuclear warhead at the time of the fire.
Arellano said the Air Force didn't know a fire had occurred until May 28, when a repair crew went to the launch site - about 40 miles east of Cheyenne, Wyo., and 100 miles northeast of Denver - because a trouble signal indicated a wiring problem.
She said the flames never entered the launch tube where the missile stood and there was no danger of a radiation release.
The fire, blame
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