Explosion, fireball light Utah’s night sky as demolition teams burn off dangerous cargo aboard derailed train

An explosives expert conducted the controlled detonation of 11 rail tankers carrying propane and bio-diesel on Sunday night, March 31, 2019, after a derailment on Saturday morning in Juab County. Photo: Facebook/Juab County Sheriff's Office

JUAB COUNTY, Utah, April 1, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — An explosives expert conducted a controlled detonation of 11 rail tankers Sunday night, after a train transporting hazardous materials derailed Saturday morning.

The incident occurred in the area of the Little Sahara turnoff in Juab, which is near the unincorporated community of Jericho, about 8 miles south of Eureka.

A post by Juab County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook late Sunday said, “at approximately 9:30 PM a controlled detonation of 11 rail tankers was conducted near US Highway 6 and Mile marker 124. This was in response to the derailment of 24 rail cars that occurred on March 30th.”

The post states that this was the “safest way to mitigate the volatility of the rail cars that were carrying Propane and Bio-diesel.”

Nine rail tankers were carrying propane, while two contained bio-diesel.

An expert on site breached all 11 tankers with explosives and ignited them, setting off “a loud explosion followed by a large fire ball,” the post said.

Fire crews will stay at the site throughout the night while the flammables burn off, the post said, adding that several more days of clean up are anticipated.

Multiple agencies, including the Utah National Guard and a crew from the Orem Fire Department, responded to the scene of the derailment over the weekend.

On Sunday evening, Juab County Sheriff Douglas Anderson issued a news release stating that the 165-car Union Pacific train derailed “while traveling southwest, nearly adjacent to milepost #124.5 on State Road 6. Of the 165 cars, 24 cars derailed off the track and the other cars stayed upright and intact.” 

The news release goes on to say that approximately 60 first responders from throughout Utah responded to stabilize the accident scene.

Participating agencies included “local fire, E.M.S., law enforcement and emergency management agencies, hazardous material response teams, Utah State Fire Marshal’s Office, U.S.E.P.A., Federal Railroad Administration, Union Pacific personnel, including Union Pacific law enforcement and Union Pacific contractors, the Utah National Guard civil support team, American Red Cross and various other volunteer and support organizations.”




  1. I find it incredibly difficult to believe there’s no video of this?! I’ve looked at all the news sites. Nothing but lame pictures. WTH?!


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