A military plane was carrying two bombs when crashed near Goldsboro 53 years ago. According to newly declassified documents, one of them came very close to detonating.
Had it gone off, the disaster could have been worse than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, CNN explained.
"By the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted," Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wrote in the report.
The documents — titled, "Multi-Megaton Bomb Was Virtually 'Armed' When It Crashed to Earth in North Carolina" — detail the night of Jan 24. 1961.
That night, an Air Force B-52 broke apart in two. The crash killed three of the eight people onboard the plane and sent the bombs plunging toward the ground.