U.S. jet drops dummy bomb on South Korean factory
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — A dummy bomb dropped by a U.S. Air Force fighter jet in South Korea on Wednesday struck and damaged a factory but no one was injured, authorities said Thursday.
The mishap occurred about 11:50 a.m. in Eumseong, northern Chungcheong Province, police said. Four workers were in the two-story building at the time.
The bomb was a nonexplosive BDU-33 used for training missions.
South Korean news organizations carried video footage showing a jagged hole in the building, where the bomb slammed through the roof and ripped through the interior, boring through a bathroom and into a first-floor office where it stopped.
The footage carried an interview with a shaken factory employee who told of fleeing the building with frightened fellow workers.
A crawler accompanying the footage indicated the bomb weighed about 22 pounds.
It showed the dented metal form of the bomb lying on the office floor, mostly intact, its fins askew, amid scraps of debris.
The fighter was an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack plane assigned to the 25th Fighter Wing Squadron at Osan Air Base, according to Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing, of which the squadron is a part.
“The 51st Fighter Wing launched a full investigation into the circumstances of this incident and further details will be released as they become available,” wing officials said in a news release issued Thursday.
Officials at a nearby South Korean air base sent an explosive ordnance disposal team to the scene Wednesday. Serial numbers on the bomb enabled the team to identify it as of a type used by the U.S. military in South Korea, according to a South Korean military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The 51st Fighter Wing said it also sent an EOD team. A wing spokesman said no further details were immediately available.
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.