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7 missiles found in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Ludhiana was literally sitting on a volcano. A huge quantity of ammunition hauled from the steel scrap at the dry port in Dhandari Kalan, near here, during the past six days has sent shivers down the spine of people here. Had this scrap been straightway sent into furnaces for melting it could have led to a major disaster.

Experts of the bomb disposal squad from the Punjab Armed Police have been searching the scrap lying in seven containers for the past six days. So far, only four containers have been searched. Giving details of the ammunition found from the scrap, a senior police officer said had this ammunition gone unnoticed it could have led to a disastrous tragedy.

As many as 3,772 explosives and 15 boxes of cartridges had been found so far. Giving details, the officer said the explosives included 48 stick bombs, 361 grenades, 42 bottle bombs, 64 medium shells, 391 mortar shells, 168 rockets, 1,122 MMG cartridges, 500 medium gun shells, five small shells, 69 anti- tank shells, 178 anti-aircraft cartridges, 17 base rockets, 10 anti-tank grenades and seven missiles with a striking range of 32 miles.

For the past six days, experts of the bomb disposal squad from the PAP have been involved in the job. They said they had never expected a huge quantity of ammunition to come out from the scrap. It appears that it is more of the ammunition and less of steel scrap, said an official, while adding, that the ammunition remained unexploded and ultimately found its way into the scrap through the war debris. Most of the scrap is from Iraq.

The experts maintained that although these shells did not explode when they might have been used, once these would have been put into the furnaces for melting, these could have exploded and caused massive damage. An official pointed out that there were seven missiles with a strike range of 32 miles. Even these missiles could go off once these were put into the furnaces.

There are seven containers with scrap parked at the dry port. The customs officials had refused clearance to this scrap after they learnt that it had come from Iraq. 

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