Controlled explosion at Hellesdon High

Just Regional
Nov 4, 2016 2 mins read

A controlled explosion took place at Hellesdon High School on November 3 after staff became aware that they held a laboratory chemical that could potentially explode if stored incorrectly.

Schools who hold stocks of 2,4-DNP (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, technically called 2,4-DNPH) were reminded to check the storage arrangements as it can be dangerous if allowed to dry out.

Head of school Mike Earl, who is also a chemistry teacher, said: “This chemical is used in A Level chemistry practicals to identify the Aldehyde and Ketone functional groups.

“Updated storage guidance now states if this chemical dries out it should be reported to CLEAPPS (Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services). On checking the chemical it was found that it had dried out so the school contacted both the local police and CLEAPPS.

“Initially, the plan was to have the chemical collected at 8.30pm, but events rather overtook us and the Colchester bomb squad decided to carry out a controlled explosion of the chemical at 5.15pm on November 3.”

The explosion was carried out on the school field.

Norfolk Police said: “Hellesdon High School, following advice from Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Equipment (CLEAPSS), contacted police yesterday morning (10.10am) to arrange the safe disposal of substance 2,4 DNP. Working with the school safe monitoring arrangements were put in place and EOD attended outside of school hours to dispose of the chemical.”

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