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    December 2, 2020

    740 tons of ammonium nitrate kept in Chennai, officials alert after Beirut blast

    2 min read

    The horrific explosion caused by the deadly explosion in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is also present in large quantities in , . According to media reports, a senior officer in Chennai Seaport Custom has said that about 740 tonnes of ammonium nitrate is kept in a container freight station in Manali here. According to the information, this consignment of ammonium nitrate was seized in 2015 from a Salem company, which imported it. 

    Let us tell you that on the evening of August 4, there was an explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut which turned the entire city into ruins. The blast at the port of Beirut has turned the entire city into rubble. The explosion was caused by a fire in a warehouse at the port where about 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was kept unsafely since 2013. More than 150 people have been killed in this blast, while thousands of people have been injured. 
    According to media reports, senior customs officials said that these CFSs are under the administrative control of an Assistant Customs Commissioner. These have been stored keeping in mind all the standards of safety. Officials said that he would soon take necessary steps to destroy it. He said that its importer had given incorrect information that it was of fertilizer grade but it was of explosive grade. That is why it was confiscated.
    On the other hand, Tamil Nadu Police has also issued an alert in this regard. It states that this ammonium nitrate chemical is placed in 37 containers. Along with this, intelligence officials have been asked to take immediate decisions in this regard. In addition, the Customs Board has asked all ports and godowns of the country, including Ennore, Tuticorin and Karaikal, to inform them if they have a stock of explosives within 48 hours. 

    What is ammonium nitrate
    Ammonium nitrate is an odorless chemical substance that is used in many uses. It is most commonly used in two tasks. The first is for fertilizers made for farming and the second for explosives in construction or mining operations.
    Ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical.
    It is not an explosive by itself, but it is a flammable substance under favorable conditions.
    It explodes when ignited and is followed by hazardous gases, among which nitrogen oxides and ammonia gases are prominent.
    Because this chemical is highly flammable, its maintenance rules are also very stringent.
    The rule is that ammonium nitrate must always be stored in a fireproof warehouse or location.
    There should be no sewer, pipe or gutter where ammonium nitrate is kept.
    Experts say that if ammonium nitrate is properly stored, it is safer than other chemicals. 
    Although a large amount of ammonium nitrate is kept for a long time, it begins to decompose and later becomes explosive.

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