Bomb squad at Ballycastle school amid chemical explosion risk

A bomb disposal squad is understood to be visiting a school in the Ballycastle area today (Wednesday November 11) amid fears that a powdered substance used in chemical experiments could explode.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 3:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:51 pm

Dinitrophenyl hydrazine, known as 2,4 DNP, is used in A-Level chemistry classes but can pose a risk of explosion if stored incorrectly and left to dry out.

However, with the chemical posing a risk of explosion if it is exposed to air in its dried-out state, schools which suspect that they may have a problem are being forced to call in the bomb disposal squad for safety reasons.

Yesterday, the bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion in another incident at St Ronan’s College in Lurgan to deal with the potentially explosive chemical.

PSNI Chief Inspector Natalie Wilson said: “In October 2016, educational establishments throughout the UK were advised by the Consortium of Local Education Authorities providing Science Services (CLEAPSS)., that a powdered substance, 2,4 DNP (Dinitrophenyl hydrazine), which is occasionally used by students in chemical experiments may present a risk if stored incorrectly.

“Communication was issued to schools requesting that they check their laboratories for the substance 2,4DNP and that they review its storage conditions accordingly.

“The PSNI has been liaising with a number of schools across Northern Ireland in relation to this powdered substance and where necessary arranging for safe disposal of the substance.”