NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Canisters of bull semen caused quite a scare on the on-ramp to Interstate 65 South Tuesday morning.
The canisters fell off a Greyhound bus just after 5 a.m. as the bus traveled around the curve of the ramp just south of downtown Nashville.
Fire and emergency crews were called to the scene amid reports of a foul odor.
When they discovered four unmarked canisters with steam and an unpleasant odor coming from them, they shut down the on-ramp and called HAZMAT crews.
Officials traced the containers to Greyhound after finding bus tickets on the ground. The bus did not know it lost its load and had continued on.
Authorities called Greyhound, who, after speaking with the driver the bus, determined the canisters to be filled with straws of frozen sperm packed in liquid nitrogen.
The load originated in Columbus, Ohio and was en route to a breeding facility in Laredo, Texas.
Canisters like they ones strewn across the interstate typically carry between 300 and 400 straws, each containing one-milliliter of sperm.
Depending on the bull the sperm came from, straws are worth between $18 and $50 each, according to experts. It's possible the load that fell off the bus Tuesday morning was worth as much as $80,000.
Once the leaking canisters were deemed not harmful, they were moved to a grassy area next to the interstate.
A local company was called to assist in the cleanup. The scene was cleared around 9 a.m.
A Greyhound spokesperson said it's not uncommon that the bus was carrying bull sperm.
In addition to transporting people, the also company transports cargo. The canisters were filled with liquid nitrogen and thus could only be transported by ground.
Greyhound said the sperm was stored in a separate compartment below the bus and not near the belongings of passengers.