Bomb outside Indian Oil plant defused, disaster averted

The bomb, suspected to be an improvised explosive device (IED), was discovered late Monday evening. According to police, the timely detection of the bomb has averted a major fire incident like the Jaipur oil depot fire in October last year.
Punjab Armed Police (PAP) defused the bomb, which was placed in a canister and wrapped in a men's shawl inside a plastic bag. The device was kept along the Bhiwanigarh-Nabha highway, very close to the LPG bottling plant.
The IED was placed at a gas pipeline of Indian Oil coming from Panipat till the bottling plant.
The bomb was defused after an operation that went on for over two hours Tuesday morning.
"Experts of PAP have successfully defused the bomb and disintegrated it to ascertain its ingredients. Its contents included different chemical substances like potassium nitrate, petrol bottles and nails," R.S. Khatra, district police chief, told reporters.
He added: "After scrutinising the contents, we will try to find out the places where they were manufactured. So far we have not arrested anybody in this connection but our investigation is on and very soon we will nab the accused."
Earlier, Punjab police had requested the army authorities to help in defusing the bomb. But the idea was dropped as army officials were in favour of destroying the bomb.
"We dropped that idea of destroying the bomb because we wanted to ascertain the contents as it can provide us vital clues to help in nabbing those behind this incident," said a senior police official present at the site.
The area was cordoned off by the police and district authorities. A bomb disposal squad of the PAP arrived here from Jalandhar, 150 km away, to defuse the bomb.
Nabha is about 110 km from Chandigarh.
The bomb contained up to 10 kg of explosives and if it had gone off, it would have caused a major incident at the LPG bottling plant, police officials said.
The fire last October at the Indian Oil depot in Jaipur had raged for a week, burning off the petroleum stored in the tankers there. Twelve people were killed, and over 100 injured.

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