U.S. Jet Drops Bomb on Navy Cruiser; 5 Hurt

From Associated Press

A U.S. warplane accidentally dropped a 500-pound bomb Monday on the Navy guided-missile cruiser Reeves during maneuvers in the Indian Ocean, slightly injuring five sailors and leaving a 5-foot hole in the ship's main deck, the Navy said.

The bomb, which detonated on impact, set off a small fire that was quickly extinguished, Lt. Bruce Cole, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, said.

Cole said the injuries occurred "as a result of flying glass and concussion" from the exploding bomb. The sailors were treated on board the Reeves, he said.

The bomb, described as about 4 feet long and 14 inches in diameter, did no damage to the outer hull, Cole said.

The aircraft, a single-seat F/A-18 Hornet, had been dispatched from the carrier Midway. It returned to the carrier, where the pilot was debriefed by Navy officials, Cole said.

Cole said that the pilot "inadvertently" dropped the bomb during "routine weapons training."

The cruiser was about 32 miles from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The Midway and the Reeves are permanently based in Yokosuka, Japan.

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