The Air Force has offered $5,000 for leads on the whereabouts of a box of explosive grenade rounds after the cache accidentally fell from a vehicle while airmen drove on a road in North Dakota, The Washington Post reports.
Airmen from the 91st Missile Wing Security Forces team were traveling on gravel roads between two intercontinental ballistic missile sites on May 1 when their vehicle’s hatch opened and the ammunition fell out, Minot Air Force Base said in a statement obtained by the Post.
Last Friday, the Air Force sent more than 100 airmen to search the entire six-mile route where the high-caliber explosive rounds were thought to have fallen, the Post reported, citing a statement from the local sheriff's office.
Minot Air Force Base spokeswoman Danielle Lucero told The Bismarck Tribune that the search ended over the weekend after personnel exhausted efforts to find the ammunition.
Mountrail County Sheriff Kenneth Halvorson said in a statement to the Post that the missing ammunition is a belt of linked grenades for the MK 19 automatic grenade launcher.
“This ammunition is specific to that launcher and will not operate in any other launching device without catastrophic failure,” Halvorson said.
Air Force Lt. Col. Jamie Humphries, a spokesman at Minot Air Force Base, told the Post that the ammunition is secured in a green metal container and weighs 42 pounds.
Humphries considers the container safe so long as the explosive contents remain intact. However, Humphries added that any damage done to the container could lead to an explosion.
“We are hoping to get contacted by someone soon with information that leads to the can’s return,” Humphries said.