The Historical Cultural Association of Tíjola presents: “Palomares: 57 years in oblivion”.

It will take place on 8 September in the Cultural Space of the Plaza de Abastos in Tíjola.

The Cultural Space of the renovated Plaza de Abastos in Tíjola, will be the setting for the talk “Palomares: 57 years in oblivion”, given by the researcher José Herrera Plaza, who is also responsible for the short film “Broken Arrow”.

The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Almeria, Rafael Quirosa, will be in charge of officially presenting the photographic exhibition on an incident that more than half a century later, remains unresolved.


Synopsis: On 17 January 1966, two US armed forces aircraft, a B-52 and a tanker, collided while refuelling.

As a result of the crash, seven crew members were killed and over a hundred tons of metal fragments fell on the frightened residents of Palomares and Villaricos.

The plane crash was not the worst of it. Along with the wreckage of the planes, four atomic bombs, with a destructive power far greater than that of Hiroshima, fell on Palomares. Three bombs were located on land, but one of them sank in the sea. For a few months, Almería and the search for the missing bomb became the centre of international news.

Fear of the possibility of a nuclear explosion highlighted the risks generated by the Cold War, while the diplomatic and propaganda battle between the great powers intensified on the international stage. Deprived of their rights, without reliable information, the residents of Palomares and Villaricos were undoubtedly the worst affected.

During those first months of 1966, they watched as American soldiers set up on the beach, warships guarded the sea, crops were removed and the land was turned over, they lost their jobs in the fields or were prevented from fishing while being told that there was no health risk. The bombs did not detonate, but a certain amount of plutonium contaminated the soil. Various studies and initiatives have been undertaken to eradicate it, but even today, 57 years later, there is still no definitive answer to the contamination caused by the accident.

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