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Air Force Probes Nev. Missile Crash

September 29, 2000

ELY, Nev. (AP) _ The Air Force is investigating what caused a cruise missile with a dummy warhead to veer off course and crash during a test in the eastern Nevada desert, a military spokeswoman said Thursday.

The missile launched from a B-52 bomber based in Minot, N.D., carried no explosives, said Lt. Col. Lisa Bogdanski, a public affairs official for the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

No one was hurt when it hit the ground Wednesday morning about 50 miles south of Wendover, Nev., she told the Ely Times.

Air Force officials in Utah did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press on Thursday.

The missile was launched ``as part of a routine weapons evaluation program″ and was on a preplanned flight path, Bogdanski said. It crashed shortly after the launch in a buffer zone separating the Defense Department bombing range from other federal land, she said.

The area is near the Goshute Indian Reservation along the Nevada-Utah border about 350 miles east of Reno. Most of the rest of the land in the area is high desert rangeland managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The missile was recovered and transported to Hill Air Force Base, Bogdanski said.

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