Kozhikode: A large haul of explosives – more than 100 gelatin sticks and 350 detonators – were seized from a train passenger in Kerala at the Kozhikode Railway Station, officials said.
The Railway Protection Force or the RPF seized the explosives from a woman passenger of the Chennai-Mangalapuram Express.
Ramani, who is a native of Tamil Nadu, has been taken into custody; the explosives were kept under the seats. She admitted bringing gelatin sticks for the use of digging well, sources said. Police, however, said they’re probing the incident from all angles. More details are awaited. The state elections are due to be held in Kerala in April-May.
WHAT IS A GELATIN STICK ?
Gelignite knew as blasting gelatin or simply jelly, is an explosive material consisting of collodion-cotton (a type of nitrocellulose or guncotton) dissolved in either nitroglycerine or nitroglycol and mixed with wood pulp and saltpeter (sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate).
It was invented in 1875, by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, who also invented dynamite. It is more stable than dynamite, but can still suffer from “sweating” or leaching out nitroglycerine. Its composition makes it easily moldable and safe to handle without protection, as long as it is not near anything capable of detonating it.
One of the cheapest explosives, it burns slowly and cannot explode without a detonator, so it can be stored safely.
In the United Kingdom, an explosives certificate, issued by the local Chief Officer of Police, is required for possession of gelignite. Due to its widespread civilian use in quarries and mining, it has historically been used by irregular or paramilitary groups such as the Irish Republican Army and the Ulster Volunteer Force who often used gelignite as a booster.