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After Beirut Blasts, Explosive Chemical Ammonium Nitrate Stored Near Chennai Being Moved To Hyderabad

After Beirut Blasts, Explosive Chemical Stored Near Chennai Being Moved To Hyderabad

Large quantity of ammonium nitrate, seized in 2015, has been lying at a port near Chennai (File)


Safety concerns over the storage of ammonium nitrate, in the shadow of the explosion of the chemical in Beirut, were addressed as the substance has been e-auctioned and is being shipped to Hyderabad, sources said on Sunday.

697 tonnes of the chemical was being kept in the container freight station near Chennai, sources said, adding that the e-auction of the chemical is over.

The disposal of the cargo will be done within a short period by adhering to safety rules, they said.

Some containers with the chemical have already left for Hyderabad, police sources said.

The substance was seized in 2015 under the Customs Act 1962.

The cargo was then kept at the freight station located about 20 km from the city and there was no residential area in the vicinity of the storage area, they said.

The chemical was seized from a Tamil Nadu-based importer who had allegedly declared the substance as fertiliser grade although it was explosive grade, the Customs authorities said.

The consignment, imported from South Korea, was safely stored considering the hazardous nature of the substance, they had said in a statement.

Following the seizure, the licence of the importer was cancelled, they said.

While seven tonnes of the chemical was spoilt during the deluge in December 2015, the remaining 690 tonnes were to be e-auctioned, he said.

The explosion of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate on August 4 in Lebanon’s port city of Beirut killed 135 people and injured about 4,000 and triggered safety concerns over the storage of the chemical near Chennai.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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