The Environmental Protection Agency held a controlled detonation of eleven Union Pacific tank cars that had derailed in Juab County, Utah in late March.
Nine of the derailed cars were full of propane and two held biodiesel fuel. The decision to hold a controlled detonation came after EPA determined the tank cars were showing signs of instability and posed a threat to emergency responders.
A special response team was dispatched to assess the situation once it was determined the the train was carrying hazardous materials. The response team felt the safest way to handle the situation was to “intentionally breach and thermally treat each of the propane and diesel cars using explosive charges and remotely ignite the liquid that is released.”
Controlled detonation of derailed train tanker cars in Juab County lights up the sky