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Blumenthal Bill Would Require VA To Compensate Vets Sickened By Plutonium

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U.S. Navy, Courtesy of the Natural Resources Defense Council
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Eighty days after it fell into the ocean following a midair collision in 1966 between a nuclear-armed B-52G bomber and a KC-135 refueling tanker over Palomares, Spain, this B28RI nuclear bomb was recovered from 2,850 feet of water.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has introduced a bill that would require the VA to pay for disability compensation for 1,600 veterans who were exposed to radiation in Palomares, Spain.

In 1966, two U.S. Air Force planes collided. They released hydrogen bombs that sprinkled plutonium all over the Spanish countryside. After the accident, those 1,600 veterans became severely sick.

Blumenthal says the VA should have paid for their care 50 years ago.

“The simple fact is they deserve this relief. The quickest way to get it to them is for Congress to act.”

Last year, the Yale Law Clinic filed a lawsuit against the VA to get them to pay for their care. That lawsuit is still ongoing.

The VA did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

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