Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Canadian nuclear test veterans sue

OTTAWA, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A class action suit against the Canadian government was filed Tuesday in Ottawa by soldiers used for tests in nuclear explosions, The Globe and Mail reported.Lawyer Tony Merchant of Regina, Saskatchewan, is representing the group that is demanding equal compensation -- up to $75,000 -- awarded to some 62,000 U.S. soldiers by their government in 1988 for the various diseases that developed after exposure to nuclear blasts.A report by the Canadian Ministry of Defense in January 2007 said 689 Canadian soldiers attended up to 29 U.S. and British nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1963, The Globe and Mail said.Jim Huntley, 68, was a member of a Queen's Own Rifles unit that witnessed six atomic detonations in 1957, and said they were ordered to hide in foxholes while atomic bombs exploded. He told the newspaper when the bombs went off, soldiers saw bones in each others' bodies, like X-rays.He also said half of his unit is dead, mostly from various cancers.The lawsuit gives the government 30 days to announce its defense, the report said.


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