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HomeUSFederal investigators probe how 30 TONS of explosive ammonium nitrate vanished

Federal investigators probe how 30 TONS of explosive ammonium nitrate vanished

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Federal investigators have joined the investigation into a missing shipment of 30 tons of ammonium nitrate that can be used to make high-powered explosives like the one used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

About 60,000 pounds of the chemical, in pellet form, disappeared during a two-week trip from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Saltdale, California.

The shipment left a manufacturing site of Dyno Nobel, an explosives manufacturer, on April 12 and the report of the missing ammonium nitrate was made on May 10.

Preliminary investigations suggest a leak in the rail car carrying the chemical caused it to spill during the trip. Union Pacific, the carrier that made the delivery, told DailyMail.com it did not believe there was “criminal or malicious activity”.

But neither the railroad nor Dyno Nobel – whose explosives are used in mining – have confirmed whether the chemical was located or what caused it to go missing.

The shipment of ammonium nitrate disappeared during a two-week trip from the Dyno Nobel plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Saltdale, California. A map shows the routes he might have taken along the Union Pacific rail network

The cargo left a manufacturing site of Dyno Nobel (pictured), an explosives maker, on April 12 and the report of the missing ammonium nitrate was made on May 10

The cargo left a manufacturing site of Dyno Nobel (pictured), an explosives maker, on April 12 and the report of the missing ammonium nitrate was made on May 10

Ammonium nitrate was a key component of the bomb used by domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people.

Ammonium nitrate was a key component of the bomb used by domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people.

Ammonium nitrate was a key component of the bomb used by domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people.

It is estimated that 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of the chemical were used in the attack on April 19, 1995, meaning the amount that disappeared could be used to create around 30 equivalent explosives. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed in the explosion.

In another incident in 2013, 15 people died and more than 260 were injured when ammonium nitrate exploded at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas.

More than 200 people died when around 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut in Lebanon. The colossal explosion also injured 7,000 people and caused damage estimated at $15 billion.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer costs about $600 a ton, so the missing shipment would have been worth about $18,000.

A map of the Union Pacific network indicates that the shipment could have traveled along lanes in Denver and Utah, or through Wyoming and Utah, before passing through Nevada and California.

Dyno Nobel was approached for comment. The company previously said it believed the ammonium nitrate leaked from the car during the ride.

Timothy McVeigh

Terry Nichols

Timothy McVeigh (left) and Terry Nichols (right) used ammonium nitrate in the explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Officials investigating the missing cargo said they do not suspect ‘any criminal or malicious activity involved’

More than 200 people died when around 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut in Lebanon

More than 200 people died when around 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the port of Beirut in Lebanon

The colossal explosion in Lebanon also injured 7,000 people and caused damage estimated at $15 billion.

The colossal explosion in Lebanon also injured 7,000 people and caused damage estimated at $15 billion.

“The rail car 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 car’s lower door may have developed during transport,” a spokesperson said.

A Union Pacific spokeswoman told DailyMail.com: ‘Our investigation is still ongoing at this time. Union Pacific cannot comment on the details or status of an ongoing investigation, except to say that at this stage of the investigation, we do not believe there is any criminal or malicious activity involved.

Stan Blake, a former Wyoming state legislator and retired train conductor, told the Cowboy State Daily that it wouldn’t be difficult to empty one of the hopper cars of its load of pellets.

The cars have two or three sections, Blake said, and there’s a door at the bottom. “You can use a big bar and open that door and it’ll pour out,” he said.

He also suggested it was possible the granules never got on the train in the first place, because with a moving conveyor belt the chemical can be carried from the open door into a truck.

Union Pacific, which operated the train carrying the explosive chemicals, said if the pellets had escaped the train they would be harmless.  Pictured is a Union Pacific train carrying bulk grain through Kansas

Union Pacific, which operated the train carrying the explosive chemicals, said if the pellets had escaped the train they would be harmless. Pictured is a Union Pacific train carrying bulk grain through Kansas

A map shows the origin of the shipment and the point in Saltdale, California, where workers realized the ammonium nitrate was missing

A map shows the origin of the shipment and the point in Saltdale, California, where workers realized the ammonium nitrate was missing

He said sometimes the cars were registered as carrying loads, but they were empty, and vice versa.

He said that sometimes when the cars were joined they could bang into each other and some would overturn. He told the outlet he knows people to pick it up in plastic bags and put it on their lawn.

“It’s a great fertilizer,” he said.

The Federal Railroad Authority said Dyno Nobel and Union Pacific could face federal penalties if they were found to have committed rule violations that led to the chemical’s disappearance.

A spokesperson added: ‘As Union Pacific and Dyno Nobel investigate this incident, they should engage all necessary parties, including law enforcement, to ensure that all causes and impacts potentials are dealt with quickly and thoroughly.

“UP’s initial findings suggest it was likely a leak caused by a component of the railcar. Rail shippers and railways are responsible for ensuring rail cars are properly secured.

Jackyhttps://whatsnew2day.com/
The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

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