Chennai: Sources say 740 tons of Ammonium nitrate will be safely disposed in a month

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 06, 2020, 03.10 PM(IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

690 tons of Ammonium Nitrate seized in 2015 are under E-auction in Chennai Photograph:( WION )

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In pure form, Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a white, crystalline chemical which is soluble in water. It is the main ingredient in the manufacture of commercial explosives used in mining and construction.

Highly placed sources have told WION that the 740 tons of Ammonium Nitrate stored at a Private Container Freight Station, about 30kms north of Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai, will be safely disposed within a month. 37 containers, each measuring 20feet were seized back in September 2015, when they had arrived at the Chennai port from South Korea. The Customs authorities had seized the containers as the recipient company, a private firm, did not have the requisite clearances for handling these explosive/chemicals.  

Also read: Ammonium nitrate: Fertilizer behind many industrial accidents

It is learnt that the seized chemical is under the process of  being sold via the e-Auction route and that it would be safely handed over to the buyer. Top Customs officials have stated that these containers are safely stored in the hazardous materials zone, in containers that have the yellow marking that denote explosives, in logistics parlance. Besides assuring its safe handover to the concerned party, they have emphasized that it is stored at a location that does not have any inhabitation in a 2kms radius.

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Ammonium Nitrate, which is widely used in fertilizers and explosives has been in the news recently, after the Lebanese government pointed out that it was 2,700 tons of the same chemical which caused a massive explosion at the Beirut port on Tuesday evening.

In pure form, Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a white, crystalline chemical which is soluble in water. It is the main ingredient in the manufacture of commercial explosives used in mining and construction.