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As Glaciers Melt in Iceland, US WWII Bomber That Crashed in 1944 Resurfaces

A view shows an ice flow floating on a lake in front of the an Icleandic glacier. (Credit: REUTERS)

A view shows an ice flow floating on a lake in front of the an Icleandic glacier. (Credit: REUTERS)

The US bomber had landed at Keflavík Airport in Iceland for refuelling and was on its way to England when the mishap took place. It is reported that due to poor weather in Iceland, the plane faced some technical difficulties and crashed.

The climate crisis has triggered most of the world’s glaciers to melt, revealing some old artefacts from years ago. In one such incident, a US fighter plane from World War II has resurfaced at Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull glacier.

According to Iceland Monitor, the American B-17 Flying Fortress bomber had crashed into the glacier on September 16, 1944 that was carrying ten crew members, who survived. Over the years, the snow had buried the wreckage, but global warming has now caused the glacier to retreat, which resulted in the plane resurfacing.

The US bomber had landed at Keflavík Airport in Iceland for refuelling and was on its way to England when the mishap took place. It is reported that due to poor weather in Iceland, the plane faced some technical difficulties and crashed.

However, snow made the landing not so destructive and the plane kept gliding until it came to an abrupt halt in a snowbank. Although the fighter plane lost one of its wings and the engines caught fire.

The crew members survived and sought shelter at a nearby cliff as they were able to return to the wreck. They were clueless about their whereabouts and could not send an emergency message to the US Air Force. The crew members were later rescued after some of them made it to the inhabited places in the country.

The wreckage has become a sort of tourist attraction for some hikers. As Iceland Monitor reports, Guðmundur Gunnarsson, former mayor of Ísafjörður, the West Fjords who is an experienced hiker, said, “Since I heard about the wreck, I’ve been restless, I found the story compelling, and once I told my friends about it, they, too, became restless.”

However, melting of glaciers has become a cause of concern as the climate crisis continues. The ice cap of Eyjafjallajokull covers an area of 100 square kilometers. According to a BBC report, Iceland's Met Office says the country's glaciers have retreated by a total area of about 750sq km since 2000 - and are losing an average area of 40 sq km each year.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has also warned that smaller glaciers in Europe, Africa, the Andes and Indonesia were projected to lose more than 80% of their current ice mass by 2100, if carbon emissions remained high. This report should concern us all since melting glaciers will lead to rise in sea level which could have huge consequences for millions of people.


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