The Grinnell College Associate Director of Emergency Management notified the Grinnell Fire Department last week after a potentially hazardous chemical had been located in the Noyce Science Center. The call was made at 2:25 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Grinnell College Campus Safety secured the area around the chemical. The State Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb Squad was called for assistance.
According to a Grinnell Fire Department press release, the chemical, Diethyl Ether, has the potential to become shock sensitive and explosive if it has dried up.
“Since the age or condition of the chemical could not be safely determined, and out of an abundance of caution, a plan was made to remove the chemical to an outside location to render it safe,” noted the press release.
Special Agent Bomb Technicians packaged the chemical for transport and it was taken to a safe location on campus where they performed a controlled detonation. The all clear of the Noyce Science Building was given at 5:35 p.m. and the detonation area was cleared at 6:40 p.m.
Assisting on scene were the Grinnell Fire Department, Grinnell College Campus Safety, Grinnell Police, Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, Grinnell Street Department, CARE Ambulance and the State Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb Squad.