The USA Bombs Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Above Photo: Barrier Reef from the air (Qualia.com)
Two US Marine Corps jets have dropped four 226kg bombs on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef in Australia during a training mission.
The dropped bombs had not detonated and a US official has reportedly said the chance of any of them exploding is “extremely remote”.
The incident came ahead of a joint training operation between Australian and US forces in Queensland.
A Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokeswoman told News Corp Australia she had not heard about the incident, but would look into it.
US Navy Commander William Marks, of the 7th Fleet Public Affairs, said the jets had planned to drop the bombs on a range on Townshend Island, but that was foiled when the range was not clear. After several attempts, the jets were running low on fuel and could not land with the bombs they were carrying.
He said each bomb was jettisoned in a “safe, unarmed state and did not explode”.
“The US Navy and Marine Corps are working closely with Australian authorities to investigate the incident.”
The US Navy is considering how to recover the bombs, which were dropped in a “deep channel” about 16 nautical miles off the Capricorn Coast between Mackay and Rockhampton.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. It is home to more than 3000 individual reef systems and hundreds of tropical islands.
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