Bottle containing ‘possible explosive substance’ is found inside UCSD lab and detonated by bomb squad

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The substance was discovered around 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Pacific Hall, a laboratory building on the La Jolla campus.


A bottle containing “an unknown possible explosive substance” was discovered in a lab inside a UC San Diego science building the evening of Sept. 28 and was eventually detonated in a bomb-arson team’s special containment vessel, officials said.

The incident began around 6 p.m. when an almost empty liter bottle was discovered in Pacific Hall with the substance inside, a university representative said. The seven-story building is off North Torrey Pines Road near La Jolla Shores Drive in La Jolla.

Campus environment health and safety workers responded and requested help from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s hazardous-materials team and bomb squad. The FBI’s bomb squad also responded and the Sheriff’s Department’s bomb-arson team brought its “total containment vessel,” a large steel chamber mounted on a trailer, said sheriff’s Lt. Scott Roller.

About 50 people were inside the building at the time. The building was evacuated and the lab was “cleared of hazards in the immediate area” before the container was removed and detonated, campus spokeswoman Leslie Sepuka said.

She did not immediately know what substance was inside the container.

“They did remove it. They did detonate it and render it safe,” Sepuka said.

She said the building was “back to us” around 11:30 p.m.

No other details were immediately available. ◆