American bomber goes into Indian Ocean

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Air Force B-1 bomber went down into the Indian Ocean Wednesday and a rescue mission was under way, the Pentagon said.

There was no indication of the cause, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said. There was no word on the fate of the crew of four.

The B-1 bomber went down about 30 miles north of Diego Garcia, a base being used by bombers in the anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan.

"There are no known casualties. Rescue efforts are under way," Clarke said in a press conference with Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"It is possible to eject from the B-1 bomber," said Pace.

"This underscores what we try to remember all the time -- that the men and women in the U.S. military put their lives at risk every single day," Clarke said. "And we're grateful."

The British-controlled island of Diego Garcia is in the central Indian Ocean and bombers have been flying missions from it to Afghanistan in the airstrikes that began Oct. 7.

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