Bomb squad deal with potentially '˜explosive' chemical at Lurgan school

A controlled explosion was carried out after a Lurgan school called in the PSNI to deal with a dangerous chemical.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:51 pm

The bomb squad arrived at St Ronan’s College yesterday afternoon to deal with a potentially explosive chemical.

It follows a number of explosions at schools in England recently where the substance had been stored in chemistry Labs.

The PSNI said the police were called by the school on Monday and arrangements were made to deal with the substance on Tuesday afternoon.

A PSNI spokesperson said a controlled explosion was carried out to safely dispose of the chemical.

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.

Mrs Michéle Corkey, Principal of St Ronan’s College said: “The PSNI has been liaising with a number of schools across Northern Ireland in relation to this powered substance and where necessary arranging for safe disposal of the substance.

“Following guidance from CLEAPSS and the Education Authority, all schools have been asked to check stock and ensure the safe removal of the chemical 2,4-DNHP. 2,4-Dinitrophenolhydrazine, has recently been re-classified as explosive, which it is when dry.

“The chemical was removed under strict safety guidelines and taken off site to be destroyed.

“No-one was unduly concerned or inconvenienced,” she said.