RAF Bomb Disposal in controlled explosion on Holbeach school field

RAF Bomb Disposal called to UAH over science lab chemical deemed to be unsafe.
RAF Bomb Disposal called to UAH over science lab chemical deemed to be unsafe.
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RAF Bomb Disposal carried out a controlled explosion on a school field following a national alert that a chemical used in science lessons could be dangerous.

Staff at University Academy Holbeach (UAH) called in the military after receiving newly revised advice on how to store the chemical, 2,4-DNHP, which is used in some chemistry experiments.

UAH principal Steve Baragwanath said Cleapss, the science advisory body, changed its advice to schools on how the chemical should be stored and those keeping it in powder form – according to original guidelines – were advised to call bomb disposal.

An RAF Bomb Disposal expert arrived at around 2pm on Wednesday, within hours of the Cleapps warning arriving by email, and safely disposed of the chemical.

Mr Baragwanath said: “He took it onto the field, dug a hole and blew it up.”

There was a bang but Mr Baragwanath explained: “It’s not as violent a thing as people think it is.”

He said after leaving UAH, the bomb disposal expert was planning to visit five more schools to carry out the same job.

Mr Baragwanath believes the same chemical has been used in reels of paper caps for children’s toy guns. He said UAH had only a small amount of 2,4-DNPH but acted as soon as the email came through.

“If you have got it stored in powder form they (bomb disposal) come and dispose of it for you because, apparently, it’s quite a volatile chemical,” said Mr Baragwanath.

Schools up and down the country have called in bomb disposal for the same reason. Is there something extraordinary going on at your school? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk