‘accidents’ at plum island disease lab acknowledged

'accidents' at plum island disease lab acknowledgedfrom ap: The only U.S. facility allowed to research the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease experienced several accidents with the feared virus, the Bush administration acknowledged Friday.

A 1978 release of the virus into cattle holding pens on Plum Island, N.Y., triggered new safety procedures. While that incident was previously known, the Homeland Security Department told a House committee there were other accidents inside the government’s laboratory

A simulated outbreak of the disease in 2002 – part of an earlier U.S. government exercise called “Crimson Sky” – ended with fictional riots in the streets after the simulation’s National Guardsmen were ordered to kill tens of millions of farm animals, so many that troops ran out of bullets. In the exercise, the government said it would have been forced to dig a ditch in Kansas 25 miles long to bury carcasses. In the simulation, protests broke out in some cities amid food shortages.

flashback: foot & mouth virus released from government lab

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