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Railroad vandalism in Lyman Co. being investigated

VIVIAN -- Authorities are looking into a case of vandalism from November that resulted in a piece of state-owned rail-line being blown off by an explosive in Lyman County.

VIVIAN - Authorities are looking into a case of vandalism from November that resulted in a piece of state-owned rail-line being blown off by an explosive in Lyman County.

The damage is located about 1 mile east of Vivian, where the Dakota Southern Railway is the operator of the rail line.

Lyman County Sheriff Steve Manger said a two-foot piece of the rail line on the north side of the track is missing. He said the explosive appeared to be tannerite, which is used primarily for creating exploding targets for firearms practice.

"That's about all we know right now," he said.

Manger said the incident is believed to have occurred in November sometime, but the exact timeline is unclear. The track is owned by Dakota Southern Railway, and the Lyman County Herald reported that General Manager Lester Thompson notified authorities of the damage.

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The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Lyman County Sheriff's Office. Maliciously damaging railroad property is a felony, according to South Dakota state law.

Manger said they're still investigating clues and what the motives might be.

"We're trying to determine if there was malicious intent or what might have caused this," he said.

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