Problems at Curraghinalt explosives store.... Just how safe is it?
N060 JANUARY 2022
They say that any system is only as strong as it’s weakest link- no matter how expensive or sophisticated it may be, there is always a ‘weakest point’.
You’d think that given the history of the country, security would be taken very seriously- we’re all aware of the necessity for the PSNI to escort explosives, and the requirement for the safe and secure storage of explosives- but locals were shocked to learn of a potential design flaw at the explosives store at Curraghinalt which could compromise the security of the facility.
It was reported on Wednesday (12th Jan) that maintenance teams were working for a number of days to source a fault that had knocked the security systems offline at the explosives store at Curraghinalt.
The fault was located on Wednesday, when it was found that a cable buried in a shallow trench had suffered fire damage. The cable is approximately 500m long and extends from the Camcosy Road site to the explosives store.
Witnesses report seeing charred remains of a power cable when workers opened a manhole cover approximately 325 meters from the road. It is unclear what caused the damage to the cable.
Worryingly this highlights a potential weak spot in the security system, whereby a motivated person could in theory bypass the security system by cutting power to the explosives store, and forcing entry. This explosives store has capacity to store 2000 kg of explosives, 2000 detonators and 50 electric detonators. Without an active security system it would be easy pickings at this remote location under the cover of darkness.
Why did it take so long for the maintenance crew to find the fault? Were the PNSI aware that the security system was down, and the site was in a potentially vulnerable position?
Are there any backup or redundancy plans to safeguard against this threat in future?