Post Beirut, CBIC Tells Customs to Check Explosives in Warehouses

740 tonne of ammonium nitrate, classified as a special category explosive substance, is stored at a CFS in Chennai.

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India
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The explosion in Beirut, on 4 August, at around 6 pm local time, appears to have been fuelled by 2,750 tons of the highly reactive chemical ammonium nitrate.
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The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), on Thursday, 6 August, directed all customs and field formations to “immediately verify and confirm” that “hazardous and explosive material” in warehouses and ports across the country present “no danger to life and property.”

According to ANI, the CBIC direction said:

“Customs and field formations directed to immediately verify and confirm within 48 hours that any hazardous and explosive material lying in warehouses and ports across the country meets all safety and fire standards and presents no danger to life and property.”   

Further, CBIC reportedly stated that this “precautionary step has been taken in view of the recent incident of an explosion in a foreign country caused by such material,” referring to the two blasts that rocked Beirut in Lebanon, killing at least 113 people.

According to Times of India, 740 tonne of ammonium nitrate, classified as a special category explosive substance, is stored at a container freight station (CFS) in Chennai’s industrial area Manali.

Media reports suggest that customs authorities on Thursday tried to assuage safety related fears that arose following the chemical explosions in Beirut.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab had said on Wednesday that the cause of the two blasts that rocked capital Beirut was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate being stored in the Beirut port warehouse.

(With inputs from ANI, The Times of India)

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