A railcar loaded with 30 tons of the chemical left Cheyenne, Wyoming, on April 12. The car was found to be empty after it arrived two weeks later at a rail stop in the Mojave Desert, according to a short incident report from the explosives firm that made the shipment.
The company, Dyno Nobel, made the report May 10 to the federal National Response Center, or NRC. The report also appeared last week in an NRC database of California incidents managed by the state Office of Emergency Services last Wednesday.
The company said the rail car with the material was sealed when it left a manufacturing site in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the seals “were still intact” when it arrived in Saltdale, Calif.
“The initial assessment is that a leak through the bottom gate on the rail car may have developed in transit,” the statement said.
A report made on May 10 to the National Response Center, a federal emergency call center for railroad incidents, said that the rail car left Wyoming on April 12 and arrived in California empty.
Dyno Nobel said that the rail car was transported back to Wyoming for further investigation and that it had “limited control” of the train’s activity while the cargo was being transported
Interestingly, there appears to be no Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration administrator, or PHMSA, part of the Transportation Department. This DOT division oversees the regulations related to hazardous materials security and safety during shipping.
The company transporting the ammonium nitrate from Wyoming to California said “the release should pose no risk to public health or the environment” if the loss resulted from a leak
A California law enforcement source familiar with the case told NBC News the recent disappearance of the chemical does not appear to be connected to any domestic terrorism threat.
I don’t suppose y’all could send out a railroad car to check for the “leaks?” You know … just so we can store this gem in the “No Big Deal” category of explosive news events.