US destroys last rocket armed with VX nerve agent

A chemical weapons incinerator in Alabama destroyed the last of nearly 36,000 rockets carrying the deadly nerve agent VX, part of a huge munitions stockpile that dated back to the Cold War. The rockets were considered the most hazardous part of the stockpile because they were loaded with explosive propellant and VX, which can kill a person within minutes. The incinerator at the Anniston Army Depot began operating in 2003 and destroyed the last VX rocket Thursday night, said Terry Sholin of Westinghouse Anniston, the Army's lead contractor on the project. With the United States facing a treaty deadline of 2012 to eliminate its stockpile of chemical weapons, the incinerator will now be equipped to destroy artillery shells also loaded with VX, Sholin said.