Update on Missing Shipment Carrying 30 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate

Union Pacific railroad completed the investigation into 30 tons of ammonium nitrate that disappeared during shipment from Wyoming to California.

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Missing Aluminum Nitrate shipment update
Union Pacific Railroad stated that the 30 tons of aluminum nitrate, missing since April 12, likely fell out of the hopper car during transit from Cheyenne, WY to Saltdale, CA.Image courtesy of trainman111 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Union Pacific Railroad said its investigation into the disappearance of 30 tons of aluminum nitrate from a hopper car in April indicates the material was lost in transit because of a leak during the trip from Cheyenne, WY to California, local Cheyenne news KGWN-TV reported.

The hopper loaded with ammonium nitrate — used as a fertilizer and as a component in explosives — was empty when it arrived in Saltdale, CA, near Mojave, two weeks after departing the Dyno Nobel explosives plant in Cheyenne on April 12. Here is the back story of the missing 30 ton shipment.

Because of the explosive application, the incident triggered state and federal investigations.

The railroad company now believes the ammonium nitrate dropped in small pellets over the course of the 800-mile trip. Union Pacific said in a statement to the news station that it has completed its investigation, and that “As we have previously indicated, all the available evidence suggests this was a leak that occurred over the course of transportation from origin to destination.”

The railroad and Dyno Nobel both say no criminal activity is suspected, and that there should be no environmental concerns over the release of the material, with UP noting “the fertilizer is designed for ground application and quick soil absorption.”


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Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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