30-Ton Shipment of Explosive Chemicals Go Missing

photo prise le 01 octobre 2001 d'un hangar ouvert de la SNCF situé à environ 200 mètres de la gare de Saint-Malo, où sont entreposés 1200 tonnes d'engrais chimiques, composés de 33 % de nitrate d'ammonium, par la société malouine et granvillaise (SMG, groupe Bolloré). Après des tests effectués ce jour sur la "détonabilité" de ces engrais, le préfet d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Claude Guéant, a pris en urgence un arrêté obligeant la SMG à déplacer 2400 sacs de 500 grammes chacun vers un site plus sûr. (Photo by Grégoire MAISONNEUVE / AFP) (Photo by GREGOIRE MAISONNEUVE/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by GREGOIRE MAISONNEUVE/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
12:20 PM – Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Investigations are reportedly underway as 60,000 pounds of toxic ammonium nitrate have been reported missing while being transported from Wyoming to California.


An empty railcar was found at a rail stop in the California Mojave Desert, two weeks after it had departed its initial location.

Multiple entities have announced through their representatives that The Federal Railroad Administration, the California Public Utilities Commission, Union Pacific, and Dyno Nobel (the company responsible for the transport) are looking into the incident.

On May 10th, the report was sent by Dyno Nobel to the government National Response Center, or NRC. Last Wednesday, the report was published in an NRC database of occurrences in California maintained by the state Office of Emergency Services.

Ammonium nitrate, typically transported in pellet form, is a chemical used as both fertilizer and a component in explosives.

Dyno Nobel claimed that pellets had fallen from the car during its two-week transit to the Saltdale rail siding, which is a short track connecting with the main track, about 30 miles from the town of Mojave in eastern Kern County.

“The railcar was sealed when it left the Cheyenne facility, and the seals were still intact when it arrived in Saltdale. The initial assessment is that a leak through the bottom gate on the railcar may have developed in transit,” the company spokesperson said.

A representative from the Federal Railroad Administration attributed the incident to a failure to properly close one of the hopper car gates. This oversight led to the loss of the hazardous material.

In order to prohibit the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate being used in terrorist activities, Congress approved a law in 2007. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security published draft regulations but refrained from formally enacting them.

The use of ammonium nitrate in the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which resulted in killed 168 people and injured approximately 85, serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with this substance.

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