Vets sue Defense Department over 1966 Spain H-bomb mishap

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Veterans groups are suing the Defense Department in an effort to obtain disability benefits for airmen who say they were exposed to radiation while responding to a 1966 accident involving U.S. hydrogen bombs in Spain.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Connecticut by Yale Law School students representing Vietnam Veterans of America, the group’s Connecticut chapter and Anthony Maloni, a 72-year-old veteran from Agawam, Massachusetts.

The lawsuit seeks medical testing results it says the Defense Department is refusing to release and would help veterans who fell ill years after the 1966 accident.

A Defense Department spokesman declined to comment.

Radioactive plutonium was released near Palomares in January 1966, when a U.S. B-52 bomber and refueling plane crashed. Four hydrogen bombs were released, but didn’t explode.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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