The Beirut blast, which occurred two days back is still fresh in the mind of the world. The blast also revealed how risky improper storage of chemicals can be. Near Chennai at a depot, the Customs officials have seized 700 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate on Thursday.
The chemical has been under Customs' custody since 2015 but has not been properly stored. The department is working on disposing of the material responsibly.
700 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate lying at a depot in Tamil Nadu
Beirut, Lebanon's capital witnessed a terrible tragedy two days back leaving thousands injured and 135 people dead. The blast occurred due to incorrectly stored Ammonium Nitrate. The chemical is often used in fertilisers.
In 2015, the Customs department in Chennai had seized over 700 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate from a Salem-based company Sri Amman Chemicals at a port in Chennai. This classified explosive has been in their custody ever since. While the material isn't stored at the harbour now, and in a warehouse near Chennai.
Citing the risk of the blast after the Beirut explosion, PMK leader Ramadoss, Tamil Nadu has demanded the safe disposal of the dangerous chemical of which 690 tonnes are sitting unused in Chennai, while 20 tonnes were shifted long ago and are under control. The Customs department said it will release details of the disposal soon and are in the process of doing so, reported NDTV.
In Beirut, similarly, 2,750 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate was stored at the port, which exploded on Tuesday.