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UPDATE: Controlled explosion carried at a Great Cornard school

Thomas Gainsborough School, Great Cornard. ANL-150709-161525009
Thomas Gainsborough School, Great Cornard. ANL-150709-161525009

A controlled explosion was carried out at a school in Great Cornard last night.

A bomb disposal squad arrived at around 11.15pm to carry out a controlled explosion on a chemical in the school grounds.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: “We received a call from the school yesterday morning after it heard a piece in the media about a detonation [of the same chemical] in Ipswich [St Albans Catholic High School].

“They then had discussions and they wanted the bomb disposal squad to come after the school day.”

Police were also in attendance as the explosion took place at around 11.55pm.

The police spokesman said the chemical did not pose a danger to staff or pupils and has advised that the first port of call for concerned schools should be the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Equipment (CLEAPSS).

A statement on the CLEAPSS website says: “Schools who hold stocks of 2,4-DNP (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, technically called 2,4-DNPH) are reminded to check the storage arrangements for this chemical are as per Hazcard 30.

“If it has been stored as advised, or is unopened as supplied (as it contains water for supply) there is no cause for concern.

“However if there is no water in the outer container or the reagent bottle has not been placed inside an additional container you must assume that the material has dried out meaning that an additional risk is present.

“Do NOT open the reagent bottle.

“Please do not call the police until you have called the CLEAPSS Helpline for further advice.”

The website reveals that it is receiving a large number of calls from schools regarding the chemical, but added: “The substance does not pose an immediate risk and can be returned to its usual secure storage location.”

Matt Gibson, deputy headteacher of the school, said that the chemical had been used in A-Level lessons for years but after several reports in the media from schools across the country, staff took the decision to call the police.

“They [bomb disposal] attended and although it didn’t pose any danger we were advised to have a controlled explosion,” said Mr Gibson.

“The reason for the delay was because bomb disposal was happening in other parts of the area.

“After carrying out an assessment they carried out the explosion.”

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