London: A newly published book says that a US hydrogen bomb nearly detonated on the nation's east coast, with a single switch averting a blast which would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that flattened Hiroshima.
Two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina in January 1961 after a B-52 bomber broke up in flight.
The Guardian newspaper said on Saturday that a recently declassified document, reported in a new book by Eric Schlosser, shows how close the US came to a major catastrophe.
The document says just "one simple, low-voltage switch" - which could easily have been shorted - prevented "bad news -in spades."
The Guardian says Schlosser discovered the document through the Freedom of Information Act.