10 containers with about 200 tonnes of ammonium nitrate transported to Hyderabad from Chennai

Chennai: About 200 of the 740 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, stored at a Container Freight Station (CFS) in the city’s northern suburb of Manali, was transported to Hyderabad in ten containers on Sunday evening.

Sources said the chemical was purchased by a private firm in Hyderabad, which was into manufacturing explosives for over two decades, through e-auction from the Customs department, which had seized it five years ago and stored it in 37 containers at the Sattva CFS in Manali.

The ammonium nitrate was transported to Hyderabad based on a directive from the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), which had on Friday directed the Customs Commissioner to clear it safely within three-four days.

It was imported by a Karur-based firm and was seized as it was brought without obtaining the required licences and permission in 2015.

The containers were accompanied by guards and were equipped with dry chemical powder fire extinguishers.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation had cleared the containers to transport the chemical in a safe manner.

The ammonium nitrate gained public attention after last weeks devastating explosion involving over 2,000 tonnes of the chemical stored in a warehouse in Beirut, Lebanon that left more than 100 people killed and several thousands

Following a request from the company, the ammonium nitrate was being transported in batches instead of sending it in one go.