UPDATE: Bomb squad called to Mid Sussex school

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The bomb disposal squad were called to a Mid Sussex school after an explosive acid was found by a member of the public, police have said.

Sussex Police said it was contacted by St Paul’s School, in Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill, at 2.30pm yesterday (Monday May 23) after a member of the public handed in a container with picric acid inside.

The member of public found the acid at home and wanted to dispose of it, officers added.

The school said the acid along with a batch of other chemicals had been bought to the science department last week.

A spokesman said: “A science technician noticed it and immediately took advice from CLEAPSS, the advisory service for science and technology in schools. Advice on safe storage of the chemical was provided and this was followed.”

The acid used to be used as an explosive but has also been used in medicine and dyes.

The school contacted other services on the Monday to seek more advice on how to deal with the chemical before contacting the police.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The container was safely secured in a locked storeroom at the school. The school was not evacuated and students later went home as per their normal timetable.”

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal was called and advised the acid needed to be destroyed.

The team arrived at 4.30pm and assessed the material before a controlled explosion was carried out.

Sussex Police said there was no danger to the public or students while the material was stored in the school.

Rob Carter, headteacher at St Paul’s, said “I am very grateful to the science team and their swift and timely action.

“We were well supported by the relevant emergency services and thank them for their support which has led to us resolving this issue in a safe and secure way without having any impact on students and staff.”

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