SYDNEY, October 24. (ITAR-TASS). —Two open 250-milliliter vials of picric acid were found on Thursday in the basement of one of the buildings of the University of Technology Sydney, which led to the evacuation of more than 5 thousand people.
The police blocked the streets close to the university complex. Sappers arrived to the scene and defused the dangerous chemical compound which in outdoor conditions is very unstable and may explode. All students and teachers have returned to the academic buildings.
University’s representatives reported that in the basement were stored another few bottles of picric acid, but they were all tightly closed and did not pose any danger.
Picric acid (trinitrophenol) was widely used for the production of explosives in the XIX century, however, later its use in warfare became more limited due to frequent cases of exploding shells in the gun barrel.