Home Air US B-1 bomber engulfed by fire in Dyess air force base incident

US B-1 bomber engulfed by fire in Dyess air force base incident

B-1 fire at Dyess
Photo: Screengrab

A US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber caught fire during routine engine maintenance at Dyess air force base, the service has confirmed.

The bomber was parked on the flightline on April 20 when the fire broke out at around 10 pm.

Emergency response personnel arrived immediately and contained the scene, the service said, adding that two individuals were injured and transported to Hendrick Medical Center South with non-life-threatening injuries.

“We are so grateful that all members of Team Dyess involved have been treated and are now safely back at home. Thank you to our first responders who arrived immediately on scene and executed a real-world emergency response with the same level of professionalism and proficiency as they do in training,” said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “Our B-1 fleet and warfighters remain ready to execute any long-range strike mission.”

The air force said cleanup operations have begun, and base officials ask for all personnel’s cooperation to remain out of the affected area until complete.

Video footage that has emerged online purportedly showing the bomber in flames indicates that the accident was a serious one. It remains to be seen whether the damages inflicted by the fire will be severe enough for the airframe to be written off.

B-1B bomber
Illustration: US Air Force file photo of a B-1B bomber

The bomber was one of 45 aircraft that remained in active service after the air force retired 17 airframes in 2021. The divestiture of the 17 aircraft was in support of the US Air Force’s efforts to modernize the bomber fleet, transitioning from three bombers to two – a rebuilt B-52 and the next-generation B-21. The service already has five B-21 airframes in various stages of assembly.