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Machine that takes the bang out of bombs

delhi Updated: Sep 16, 2008 00:24 IST
Satyen Mohapatra
Satyen Mohapatra
Hindustan Times
Machine that takes the bang out of bombs

Ever seen a bomb disposal crew at work? Clad in their heavy, cumbersome suits, bending over a sinister packet that can blow up any moment.

Well, there’s a safer way to defuse bombs, and you probably caught a glimpse of it on Saturday evening, on your TV screen.

As unexploded bombs were found in Central Park and outside the Regal Building in Delhi, the bomb disposal crew of the National Security Guard (NSG) moved in with a small machine resembling a concrete mixer used at construction sites.

But unlike the mixer’s shaky drum, the shiny green sphere at the head of this machine could contain an explosion of many kilos of TNT. And it had already withstood around 100 such blasts in its 12 years of service.

The machine, called Total Containment Vessel (TCV), is used to contain, transport and dispose of explosives. The device is imported — bought from US-based Nabco — and expensive — prices start over Rs 2 crore. And so far, NSG is the only organization in India to possess TCVs.

However, the demand for TCVs is bound to go up. “Although NSG is our only client so far, we hope to sell 50-60 pieces in the next few years,” says Sachin Suri, director of Instasol, which represents Nabco. Suri sees demand coming from the Army, CISF, CRPF, BSF, VVIP Security, state police teams and the civil aviation authorities.