HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Military explosives experts destroyed a 500-pound bomb Saturday that had been jettisoned by an F-16 pilot making an emergency landing.
The pilot jettisoned two bombs and two fuel tanks on Thursday when he experienced problems seconds after takeoff. The plane landed safely at the base 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. The pilot was not injured.
One of the bombs unexpectedly exploded on impact in a remote area. The second bomb landed in the same area but didn't explode as it burrowed about 17 feet underground.
Ordnance experts used explosives to detonate and destroy the bomb where it landed, Col. Patrick Higby, 75th Air Base Wing commander, said in a written statement.
He said technicians had already recovered the jettisoned external fuel tanks. About 500 gallons of fuel was released during the incident.
Some of the fuel evaporated in the air. Crews were excavating contaminated soil.
An investigation into the cause of the mishap was continuing, officials said.