Beirut blast
Beirut blast
Photo Credit: PTI

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): A total of 740 MTS of seized imported ammonium nitrate is in safe custody at a container freight station here and will be disposed off shortly in an e-auction following all safety measures, Chennai Customs said.

This announcement comes in the backdrop of the massive explosion leading to deaths and widespread damages to property and injuries to people in the Lebanese. The blast was said to have been triggered by the explosion of the chemical stored in a warehouse in the port capital Beirut.

Office of the Commissioner of Customs Chennai on Thursday said, "Chennai Customs has seized 740 MTS imported Ammonium Nitrate due to import policy restrictions prescribed by the Government of India under the Customs Act 1962 read with Explosive Act, 1884 and Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012.

The cargo was kept in safe custody at a Container Freight Station (CFS) in Manali, Chennai. "The seized cargo is securely stored and safety of the cargo and public is ensured considering the hazardous nature of the cargo. Concerned CFS is located approximately 20 kms away from the city and there is no residential locality within the vicinity of 2 kms from this CFS. All safety measures are being taken by the aforesaid CFS and monitored by the Customs to ensure public safety," Customs Dept said.

"Also the process of disposal of the said cargo is taken promptly by the Customs & e-auction has already been completed. The disposal of the said cargo will be done within a short period following all safety measures," it added.

At least 137 people died and some 5,000 were injured in a massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday. The ammonium nitrate blast at the seaport was felt far across the city, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

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