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Detonators found in bus stand in Thrissur

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Deadly haul: Superintendent of Police T. Chandran examines detonators found at the Shaktan Thampuran bus stand in Thrissur on Thursday.
Deadly haul: Superintendent of Police T. Chandran examines detonators found at the Shaktan Thampuran bus stand in Thrissur on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: The police on Thursday recovered 10,000 non-electric detonators from the Shakthan Thampuran bus stand here.

An employee with a private transport company found a jute bag containing a wooden case with 37 mm detonators discarded near an area where Kozhikode-bound buses were parked.

He reported the matter to the police aid post at the bus stand. The police and the bomb squad rushed to the spot, examined the bag and took the detonators to the Town East station.

The wooden case contained 100 paper boxes, each with 100 non-electric detonators (a detonator is a device to trigger explosives). Primary reports said each detonator had an aluminium shell filled with ASA compound formed from lead azide, lead styphnate and aluminium. The compound was pressed into place above Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN), the base charge. PETN, a powerful explosive with a relative effectiveness factor (RE factor) of 1.66, is more sensitive to shock or friction than TNT or tetryl.

The police said PETN was being used in booster and burster charge of small calibre ammunition, in upper charge of detonators in landmines and shells, and as core explosive of detonating cords. The velocity of detonation of PETN of 1.7 g/cm3 is 8,400 metres per second.

The wooden case containing the detonators displayed the name, ’CDET ALFA.’ The name of the manufacturing company displayed on the case was, ‘CDET Explosive Industries Pvt. Ltd., Village - Talegaon (S.P.), Taluka Ashti, District, Wardha, Maharashtra’. The batch number of the product was missing.

Non-electric detonators are used along with safety fuse for quarry blasting, sinking wells and excavation. Such commercial detonators are reportedly priced at Rs. 6 each.

Inspector-General of Police P. Vijayanand and Superintendent of Police T. Chandran visited the Town East station and inspected the detonators.

“These detonators are usually used in quarries. They can, however, be used to trigger powerful explosives. Investigation is on to ascertain their source,” said Mr. Vijayanand.

The district has reportedly five licensees for selling commercial detonators. Primary investigation revealed they had not sold these detonators. We are in touch with CDET Explosive Industries Pvt. Ltd.,” said Mr. Chandran.

Another angle to the investigation is the presence of the detonators near Kozhikode-bound buses.

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