Threat Eliminated After Potentially Explosive Device Found In UC San Diego Lab – NBC 7 San Diego


A bottle possibly containing an explosive substance found in a UC San Diego lab sparked a hazmat and mine clearance response Wednesday night before it was destroyed by investigators.

The one-liter bottle was discovered at a lab in Pacific Hall, according to UCSD spokesperson Leslie Sepuka. The building was evacuated and the university’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) personnel requested assistance from the San Diego Fire Department.

SDFD Battalion Chief Erik Windsor said crews were told the substance contained between 10 and 20ml of diethyl ether, which is highly volatile and “shock-sensitive”, meaning it could trigger an explosion when agitated.

The San Diego Fire Department’s hazmat team and bomb teams from the FBI and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department worked together to remove the bottle from the lab. Shortly before 11 p.m., deminers blew up the bottle in a secure container.

Investigators do not know where the substance came from and it does not appear to have been intentionally left in the lab.

The incident is not expected to impact classes or campus operations Thursday, Windsor said.

UCSD student Liam Winstead shared photos of the response with NBC 7. He said someone at UCSD EHS told him the bottle contained peroxide, a chemical compound, which, according to the EHS personnel, is potentially hazardous.


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