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Army begins disposing off 555 Gulf War missiles brought as scrap 14 years ago

In 2004, 16 containers had brought the scrap of the Gulf War from Tughlaqabad in Delhi to SD Steel Factory, Kashipur for melting. The scrap had a total of 556 objects which were later established as missiles. One of the missiles exploded on December 30, 2004 when it was being melted at the factory, leading to the death of a worker.

dehradun Updated: Oct 12, 2018 15:22 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
indian army,gulf war scrap,gulf war missiles buried in kashipur
Indian army personnel at work to take out the buried missiles in Uttarakhand. The missiles will be blown up in a controlled explosion on the banks of river Feeka, near Haldwani. (HT Photo )

The Indian army began disposing off the 555 missiles on Wednesday that were brought with scrap to Jaspur in Udham Singh Nagar in 2004.

The work began with teams of the Indian army digging out the buried missiles that would be taken in special vehicles secured with sandbags to the disposal site by the banks of the Feeka river, 4.5km away. Here all the missiles would be blown up in a controlled explosion.

Captain Vikas Malik of the Counter Explosives Device Unit, Indian army, who is leading the group of one junior commissioned officer (JCO) and 10 Jawans from Lucknow, said that the procedure might take 4-10 days.

“The missiles would first be dug out from the ground where they have been buried since the past 14 years. They will then be transported to the disposal site on the banks of the Feeka river,"he said. They would then be blasted under the ground with explosives such as RDX and TNT. After the blast, the missiles would beconverted into dust, he said.

Captain Malik said that the explosion will follow the procedures laid down by the Indian army. He was also a part of the disposal of explosives at 55 places in Jammu in 2016-2017, he added.

Additional superintendent of police, Jaspur, Jagdish Chandra, said that the work ofdisposalofmissileshas begun. "Onthe first day, the digging work was carried out by the Indian army,” he said.

In 2004, 16 containers had brought the scrap of the Gulf War from Tughlaqabad in Delhi to SD Steel Factory, Kashipur for melting. The scrap had a total of 556 objects which were later established as missiles. One of the missiles exploded on December 30, 2004 when it was being melted at the factory, leading to the death of a worker named Satpal. Taking serious note of the mishap, the administration brought the 555 missiles to a plot near the Patrampur police station and buried them there. A police contingent had been posted at the site so that the missiles were not tampered with.

The local people had been had been demanding the buried missiles be disposed off scientifically so that they do not lead to sudden detonation in future. The matter was being looked after by the defence ministry and the approval for the disposal of the missiles was received on June 26 this year.

A team of the Indian army based at Lucknow visited the site and devised a method of disposal of the missiles after which the work began.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 15:08 IST