B-52 bomber, mistakenly loaded with nuclear weapons, flies over US

A US Air Force B-52 bomber flew for more than three hours across several states while carrying six cruise missiles mistakenly armed with nuclear warheads, Pentagon officials say. The incident last week prompted an Air Force investigation and the firing of a commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were informed immediately after the mistake came to light, and Gates has asked for daily briefings on the Air Force inquiry, said Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell. He said Gates was assured that "the munitions were part of a routine transfer between the two bases, and at all times they were in the custody and control of Air Force personnel and at no time was the public in danger."