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US Begins Destroying Cold War Era Chemical Weapons

The U.S. Army began work Thursday on a long process to destroy nearly 950,000 liters of deadly VX nerve gas agent that has been stored in the midestern U.S. state of Indiana.

Army contractors drained two of 1,600 hardened steel containers at the Newport Chemical Depot and moved the nerve agent into a holding tank. Friday, the VX will be pumped into a chemical reactor where it will be mixed with water and sodium hydroxide. The mixture will be heated for several days to determine when the chemical has been neutralized.

The entire process will take more than two years to complete. Authorities want to ship the neutralized chemical to a New Jersey treatment plant before it is dumped into the Delaware River.

Experts say a single drop of VX on the skin can kill a person in less than 12 seconds.

Some information for this report provided by AP.