- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

MUNDS PARK, Ariz. (AP) - The Latest on an Arizona freeway being closed for destruction of old dynamite (all times local):

7:50 a.m.

Interstate 17 has reopened in northern Arizona after being closed for 2½ hours while explosive-disposal experts destroyed old dynamite found in a shed near the freeway in the vicinity of Munds Park.

A 32-mile stretch of the freeway was closed at approximately 5 a.m. Friday for the disposal operation and the state Department of Transportation announced at approximately 7:45 a.m. that the freeway had reopened.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Capt. Damon Cecil says a DPS explosive-disposal team soaked the dynamite in diesel fuel and then set the shed on fire. It then burst into flames, and Cecil says the team will examine the remnants once the fire is out.

Cecil say a rancher discovered 50 pounds of 47-year-old dynamite north of Munds Park on Thursday and that it was safest to destroy it in place because the dynamite’s nitroglycerine had crystalized and become unstable.

The now-destroyed shed was about 250 feet from I-17.

6:40 a.m.

A 32-mile stretch of Interstate 17 in northern Arizona is closed while explosive-disposal experts burn a nearby shed to destroy old dynamite found by a rancher.

The closure between the southern outskirts of Flagstaff and a highway connecting I-17 with Sedona began at approximately 5 a.m. Friday and may last up to four hours.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Capt. Damon Cecil says a DPS explosive-disposal team soaked the dynamite in diesel fuel and then set the shed on fire. It then burst into flames, and Cecil says the team will examine the remnants once the fire is out.

Cecil say a rancher discovered 50 pounds of 47-year-old dynamite north of Munds Park and that it was safest to destroy it in place because the dynamite’s nitroglycerine had crystalized and become unstable.

The shed is about 250 feet from I-17.

Northbound traffic is closed at State Route 179. Southbound traffic is closed at Kelly Canyon Road.

6:05 a.m.

A 32-mile stretch of Interstate 17 in northern Arizona is closed while authorities destroy old dynamite found in a ranch shed near the freeway.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says the closure between the southern outskirts of Flagstaff and a highway connecting I-17 with Sedona began at approximately 5 a.m. Friday and may last up to four hours.

Officials say a rancher discovered about 50 pounds of old dynamite on north of Munds Park and that officials decided it was safest to destroy it in place.

The blast is not expected to damage I-17 and officials say the closure is a precaution.

Northbound traffic is closed at State Route 179. Southbound traffic is closed at Kelly Canyon Road.


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