Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It Can Go Boom

Last week, the Overland Park Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit was called out to assist the HazMat Recycling Center located inside one of the Johnson County Waste Water Plants. Apparently someone had dropped off  a can of ether at an unknown date and time.  

The can was a one gallon container which resembled a small 55 gallon drum.  The top of the can was flat and appeared to be 40 to 50 years old. The can was not damaged, but the label was very worn and unreadable. 

Ether is classified as a Peroxide Forming Chemical. Old ether, such as the one mentioned above, can form peroxide crystals which are explosive and unstable. If not stored and handled properly, this can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of anyone in contact with it. It's obviously very important to follow safety protocols when handling or disposing of this chemical.

The EOD officers used a robot to move the can across the property to a six-foot hole that was dug specifically for this gallon can of ether.  The can and its contents were safely disposed of and there was no harm to life, limb or property.

As you can see from the video below, the detonation of the ether produced a large fireball.