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Bomb disposal squad detonates chemical stock at St Albans Catholic High School

PUBLISHED: 17:45 01 November 2016

The bomb disposal squad from Colchester Garrison attended St Albans High School this morning

The bomb disposal squad from Colchester Garrison attended St Albans High School this morning

Archant

Bomb disposal teams carried out a controlled explosion at St Albans Catholic High School in Ipswich this morning, after changes to guidelines in the storage of a chemical used in science lessons.

St Alban's Catholic High School in Ipswich.St Alban's Catholic High School in Ipswich.

CLEAPSS, which provides guidance on safe work with chemicals, has advised schools which hold stocks of chemical 2,4-DNP that if there is no water in the outer container, or if the bottle has not been placed inside an additional container, the material may have dried out and could be of additional risk.

Business manager at St Albans Catholic High School, Sean Salter, said the school dialled 999 as advised last night, and this morning bomb disposal teams from Colchester arrived to safely dispose of the chemical.

2,4-DNP is used at the school during some A-level chemistry lessons.

“We were advised that it can become unsafe if not stored in a particular environment, and the only way it could be disposed of is by a controlled explosion by the bomb squad from Colchester,” said Mr Salter. “Its got potential to become explosive.

“We were told not to open the bottle. We phoned 999 as we were advised to do and they said the bomb disposal squad would contact us.

“They turned up unannounced at about 11am.

“They took the small amount of chemicals up the field, dug a hole and did a controlled explosion at about 11.30am.

“The students were in lessons and half of the school were in an All Saints Day mass in our sports hall.

“The bang was a lot louder than they told me it was going to be.

“They turned up unannounced, so we had no time to inform anybody.”

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