The explosive was found during excavation work at Metcalfe House in north Delhi

The curious case of the vintage bomb at DRDO building
news Security Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 14:03

National Security Guard Director General R.C. Tayal on Tuesday created a flutter when he claimed the NSG defused a bomb found at the DRDO building a couple of months back, but the DRDO said that it was a "vintage bomb" -- and at its old office. Tayal also later clarified his remarks.

At an event attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Tayal said an improvised explosive device (IED) was found in DRDO Bhawan two months back.

"Two months ago, an IED was found in DRDO Bhawan. No one (security agencies) could do anything about it. The NSG commandos successfully defused it. NSG bomb disposal group is number one in the country," he said.

As the comment led to concerns on the security of the building that houses India's premier defence research agency, the DRDO clarified that a vintage bomb was found during excavation for construction at its old office -- Metcalfe House in north Delhi -- and not in its main building, located a stone's throw from Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House.

"The incident happened long back... It was a vintage ordnance found during excavation for some construction," a DRDO official told IANS.

Tayal also subsequently clarified that that it was "unexploded ordnance", not a bomb.

"On April 14, 2016, during some excavation work at DRDO's Metcalfe House, an unexploded ordnance was found in the form of 120 mm artillery shell. Two empty shells were also found alongside.

"NSG was asked to look into it and we carried those shells using our Total Containment Vessel to Manesar where they were eventually demolished," Tayal said in a statement.

A DRDO statement also said the vintage ordnance was found during excavation work for foundation of a new DRDO building, and that the "Delhi Police, NSG and Home Ministry were immediately informed for necessary action".

"On advice of MHA (home ministry), NSG lifted the ordnance from the site for safe disposal at their ranges," the statement said, adding that the site is now safe and construction is on. 

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