ACCNS


Released: Nov. 30, 2000

Fire at missile alert facility

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (ACCNS) -- An early-morning fire destroyed part of a Minot Air Force Base missile alert facility today but no one was harmed and the Minuteman missiles controlled from the facility were never in danger, officials said.

The fire broke out around 5 a.m. in an above-ground building at the facility. Thirteen people were safely evacuated as local fire crews from Plaza and Parshall, N.D., responded. The two-person missile crew in the launch-control center 100 feet below ground closed their blast doors and entered self-contained operations. The crew is safe and carrying out its normal duties of monitoring and controlling 10 Minuteman III ICBMs located several miles away. The above-ground building is expected to be a total loss.

There are 15 Minuteman III missile alert facilities at Minot AFB. Each controls 10 ICBMs. Control of the missiles can be transferred to another underground launch-control center if necessary.

The incident is under investigation. Further details will be released as they become available.

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Air Combat Command Public Affairs, United States Air Force, ACC/PAI