Still no sign of 60,000 pounds of explosive material that disappeared during rail shipment

In a “nothing to see here” moment, authorities are urging calm but still can’t seem to find 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate that vanished without a trace from a Union Pacific railroad car in April while being transported from Wyoming to California.

(Video Credit: Newsmax)

Ammonium nitrate is used in fertilizer and is a key ingredient in bombs such as the one used in Oklahoma City in 1995. Officials claim the car was sealed when it left the station in Wyoming but somehow 60,000 pounds of the explosive material just disappeared, according to NBC News.

Authorities claim it’s not a reason for public or environmental concern. The material was placed on the train in Cheyenne, Wyoming where its manufacturer, Dyno Nobel, loaded it to take a two-week 1,000-mile trip to Saltdale, California. The company, Dyno Nobel, reported the missing material on May 10 to the federal National Response Center. Why it took almost a month after the disappearance of the explosive material to be reported is curious.

No one seems to want to talk about the story and Union Pacific is floating the theory that it leaked out the bottom of a car. The material was in pellet form and according to Union Pacific was loaded in the car like coal is. The material went missing in April and wasn’t reported on at all by the media until late May.

According to NBC News, “The report states the chemical was released ‘due to an unknown cause,’ and was discovered missing after the rail car arrived in Saltdale, California, an unincorporated community more than 1,000 miles from Cheyenne. At the time of the report, the car was empty and on its way back to Wyoming, according to the company.”

They claimed the seals on the car were intact when it arrived in Saltdale and intimated it must have leaked out of the bottom of the car. To date, the material has reportedly not been found on the tracks.

“Ammonium nitrate has been a key ingredient in both terror attacks and fatal accidents. At least 581 people were killed in 1947 when more than 2,000 tons of the chemical exploded on a cargo ship that had docked at a port in Texas City, Texas. The same year, in Brest, France, a Norwegian ship that contained about 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded, leading to 29 deaths,” NBC reported.

But wait… NBC News listed even more panic-inducing bombings using the chemical.

“It was also used in a 1970 bombing on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus that led to one death and several injuries, and in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people,” the media outlet noted. “In 2013, ammonium nitrate was the cause of an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killing 15 people, injuring 200 and wiping out hundreds of homes. Federal officials later found the blast was a ‘criminal act.'”

“In 2020, it was the source of a colossal explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, when more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated, killing more than 200 people and injuring thousands,” NBC News continued, pointing out that it is an excellent weapon for terrorists to use.

The FBI is tight-lipped on the incident but the railroad is full of excuses.

“A representative for the National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The FBI also did not have any immediate comment. A spokesperson for the Federal Railroad Administration said that Union Pacific’s ‘initial findings suggest this was likely a leak caused by a component of the rail car,'” the media outlet asserted.

“The route, which spans more than 1,000 miles through long stretches of remote territory in the western United States, will make it somewhat challenging to pinpoint the missing cargo or how it may have been released, sources said,” NBC concluded.

A Dyno Nobel spokesman told the New York Post, “There is no indication of any danger to the public and no indication the pellets were intentionally taken by anyone. Every indication is the pellets fell from the rail car onto the tracks in small quantities throughout the long trip — eventually leaving one of the three sections in the rail car empty.”

The company vowed an “exhaustive” review to “understand what led to this situation,” and the spokesman noted that “by itself, in pellet form, such a leak of small quantities over a large area would not create additional risks for the public or rail transport.”

If it was a leak, one would think after almost two months, the federal authorities would have located where it happened. Nothing but crickets from the FBI which in its own way is alarming. According to the New York Post, four separate investigations have been launched.

Congress passed a law in 2007 to regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate to prevent its use in acts of terrorism.

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