Clam boat dredges up a catch of mustard gas in NY

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State and federal officials worked Tuesday to decontaminate a clam boat anchored in isolation off Massachusetts after it dredged up old munitions containing mustard gas, severely sickening a crewman.

The Coast Guard was trying to locate the two military shells, which the crew tossed overboard in about 60 feet of water about 45 miles south of Long Island, said Coast Guard Petty Officer James Rhodes. He acknowledged finding the shells will be difficult.

The military used the ocean as a dumping ground for munitions from after World War II through 1970. While the tons of old chemical weapons in offshore waters present a danger to fishermen, experts don't believe they are a possible source of weapons for terrorists.

The Atlantic City, N.J.-based vessel was fishing Sunday in a charted munitions dumping zone, but the designation is just a warning and carries no fishing restrictions, Rhodes said....

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