After Beirut explosion, India rechecks safety of confiscated 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in Chennai

Custom authorities swing into action to lull fears over safety regarding the storage of nearly 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at a container freight station near the south Indian city of Chennai.

The storage became a cause of concern after the explosion in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Tuesday.

READ: Beirut Explosion: How Lebanon confiscated 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate

READ: Public anger builds against Lebanese government after explosion

The 697 tonnes of chemical composition was seized from a Tamil Nadu-based importer in 2015 who had allegedly declared it as fertiliser grade although it was an explosive grade.

But the consignment, imported from South Korea, was safe and an e-auction process was on to clear it, a Customs official said.

The ammonium nitrate seized were stored in 37 containers.

The auctioned composition would now be utilised for purposes like composting.

In the backdrop of the Beirut incident, Indian authorities have ordered field officers to verify every 48 hours, if hazardous and explosive material lying in warehouses and ports across the country met safety standards.