A Scottish Highland Bull.
Bull semen clogged a Nashville highway on Tuesday. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Carsten Tolkmit/Flickr)

The morning commute slid to a halt Tuesday morning on a well-traveled on-ramp to Interstate 65 South near Nashville, Tenn. WKRN-TV reports that several canisters of bull semen fell from a Greyhound bus just after 5 a.m. as the bus hugged the curve of the ramp. The seminal fluid prompted a HAZMAT clean-up that closed the on-ramp for hours.

Passersby report foul odor

Fire and emergency crews responded to the scene of the accidental dispersal. Curious motorists and pedestrians in the area reported a “foul odor” and feared the possibility that harmful chemicals were present. In truth, the odor was a natural product of the bull semen, which was being shipped in four canisters to a veterinary clinic and breeding facility in Laredo, Texas.

Initially, officials on the scene were unsure from where the bull semen containers had come. According to WKRN, the Greyhound PackageXpress cargo bus didn’t stop because the driver was unaware that the semen had been lost. The presence of Greyhound bus shipping tags on the ground nearby enabled authorities to trace the bull semen shipment back to the source of the spill.

The bull semen was initially loaded in Columbus, Ohio.

Straws of frozen sperm in liquid nitrogen

The bull semen was packed in straws and frozen in a base of liquid nitrogen. Each of the four canisters contained approximately 400 straws, each straw containing one milliliter of bull semen worth between $18 and $50 each. In total, experts believe the Nashville bull semen load was worth as much as $80,000.

The liquid nitrogen was the primary reason for the HAZMAT response, as the colorless, odorless liquid/gas can cause rapid suffocation in sufficient quantity. Exposure to flesh can also cause severe frostbite.

Passengers and semen together

To some, the knowledge that Greyhound transports cargo like bull semen at the same time that it transports human travelers came as a shock. Yet Greyhound officials have confirmed that this is a common practice, through the company’s PackageXpress line of business. The bull semen vessels were reportedly contained below the bus in an area that was isolated from passenger belongings.

According to the company’s website, Greyhound commonly transports pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies to animal clinics and hospitals throughout the U.S.

Iran loves American bull semen

Sources

Associated Press: http://bit.ly/mPh18Q

Greyhound PackageXpress: http://www.shipgreyhound.com/

Liquid nitrogen material safety data sheet: http://stores.biochem.uiowa.edu/Pages/ln2msds.htm

WKRN-TV Nashville: http://www.wkrn.com/story/15313584/ramp-to-i-65s-closed

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