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A new documentary explores how one infamous maintenance accident at a nuclear missile site almost cost us Arkansas

Sept. 15, 2016

Even the most seasoned maintenance professional has made a blunder or two along the way, but the consequence of these mishaps is generally not a thermonuclear explosion.

We've all made mistakes at our jobs. Even the most seasoned maintenance professional has made a blunder or two along the way, but the consequence of these mishaps is generally not a thermonuclear explosion. A new documentary from Robert Kenner explores how the wrong tool almost led to the annihilation of Arkansas.

According to David Morgan for CBS news: "A new documentary based on Eric Schlosser’s book, also called "Command and Control", explores in white-knuckle detail one such incident, at a Titan II missile silo dug in among cow pastures in Damascus, Ark., and how close we came to losing Arkansas -- all because somebody brought the wrong wrench.

On September 18, 1980, a routine maintenance chore went horribly awry, when a socket being replaced on the missile fell 70 feet down a shaft and punctured the missile’s tank. Fuel started leaking into the silo, and for the next several hours personnel on site, juggling orders from Strategic Air Command, tried to prevent the leaking chemicals from catching fire, but to no avail: That the freak accident did not result in a thermonuclear explosion was, it seems, pure luck."

To learn more, read "'Command and Control': The day Arkansas was almost nuked" from CBS news.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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