A cargo train carrying military weapons and hazardous material derailed in northeast Nevada on Wednesday morning, prompting a highway closure as emergency workers rushed to contain the site, authorities said.
The 22-car train flew off the rails around 11:20 a.m. Pacific Time, leaving several cars in a crumpled heap along the tracks near the city of Wells. Nearby Interstate 80 shut down in both directions for nearly an hour.
“There were some small arms munitions and explosives on the train,” Lt. Kevin McKinney with the Elko County Sheriff’s Office told HuffPost.
An earlier broadcast by Elko County Public Safety specified some of the cargo as sodium nitrate, hand grenades, bombs and fuel.
All of the potentially lethal cargo was stored in the back of the train and not impacted by the derailment, “so we’re fortunate there,” McKinney said.
A shipment of vegetable oil also spilled out of one of the derailed cars, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. No injuries were reported.
Photos taken at the scene show some of the train cars covered with a white substance identified by McKinney as aluminum oxide, which is used in various chemical, industrial and commercial applications. Fire crews at the scene were working to contain that and other substances.
Details about the cargo’s owner, destination and origin were not immediately known by McKinney, though the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that the munitions were being transported to the Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, according to a spokesperson with the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command.