thermonuclear bombs

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Wreckage of the B-52 bomber in Palomares, Spain during the winter of 1966. The aircraft was attempting to refuel with a KC-135 Stratotanker when a spark caused both planes to explode unloading four thermonuclear bombs onto the village below.  Photo: Kit Talbot / The New York Times

At the height of the Cold War, a freak accident above a village in southern Spain nearly wiped it off the map.