Bomb squad disposes of submarine tracker that washed ashore near Sirkazhi

On Thursday, the bomb squad, comprising four members, and CSG personnel dug out the object and carried it to Puthukuppam hamlet in the same village.
A bomb squad personnel disposing of the device in Puthukuppam
A bomb squad personnel disposing of the device in Puthukuppam EXPRESS

MAYILADUTHURAI: A bomb squad from Chennai on Thursday safely disposed of a submarine tracking device that had washed ashore near Sirkazhi ten days ago. The 'Green Star Signal Device', that indicates the position of a submarine, was retrieved by the coastal security group (CSG) from Nayakkarkuppam fishing hamlet in Perunthottam on February 12.

Following an inspection by Nagapattinam police dog Akira, that confirmed the signal device's explosive nature, it was buried underground near Poompuhar, with CSG personnel guarding the location.

On Thursday, the bomb squad, comprising four members, and CSG personnel dug out the object and carried it to Puthukuppam hamlet in the same village. There, the bomb squad rigged the device with explosive charges and detonated it after placing it inside a six-foot deep pit, 100 metres from the coastline.

The pit was surrounded with mounds of sand to safeguard the personnel from the blast and prevent debris and shrapnel from flying. "The threat has been safely eliminated," said K Ramesh Kumar, a coastal security group inspector, following the detonation. "We requested local fishers to stay away from the site.

Police and fire services teams from Poompuhar, along with ambulance support from Melaiyur PHC, were on standby," added another official. The bomb squad initiated the controlled explosion using a remote at 1.12 pm. After dismissing the threat, the squad collected samples for forensic analysis.

A Green Star Signal Device is used by a submarine to communicate with friendly ships, other submarines and aircraft above the water and indicate its current position, according to the information available with the department of defence production.

The device bursts, emitting a coloured signal for 10 seconds in the air. The device, which has a shelf life of 10 years, might have drifted to shore without exploding, suspect officials.

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