Post Beirut explosion, nearly 700 tonne of ammonium nitrate in Chennai raises concern

  • | Thursday | 6th August, 2020

"We have 690 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the Sattva container depot. We are working to dispose them, and shall give all the details soon," a senior Customs Department Officer said.

Two days after unsafely stored ammonium nitrate killed at least 135 people and injured thousands in Beirut, serious concerns have been raised about nearly 700 tonnes of the explosive chemical that has remained in storage for years under the custody of the Customs Department, outside Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.

Officials said this large consignment, meant to be sent to a group in the fireworks capital of India - Sivakasi - was seized at the Chennai port in 2015 and has been lying there ever since.

Chennai port officials have denied that the pile of explosives is stored in the harbor.

"Around 36 containers, each with around 20 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, have been shifted long time ago and now they are under the Customs Department`s control," an officer from the Public Relations Department said.

"We have 690 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the Sattva container depot. We are working to dispose them, and shall give all the details soon," a senior Customs Department Officer said.

Citing the deadly Beirut tragedy, PMK Chief Dr Ramadoss, ally of the ruling AIADMK, demanded safe disposal of the explosive chemical and its safe use in making other products.



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