Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Possible Dry Run at Chem Plant

There is a short article at that should probably be brought to the attention of the chemical security community. The Sentinel reports the discovery of an “electronic device welded to a drum of alcohol”. While the device was determined not to be hazardous it has yet to be identified according to the article. If a small, remotely controlled detonation device had been attached to the drum and detonated while it was in a warehouse, the results could have been serious depending on how much isopropanol was stored in the same area and what other chemicals were nearby. It is comforting in the immediate case that this was not a detonator, but that should not mean that the incident can be ignored. This could have been a dry run to determine how long it would take for such a device to found; valuable information for planning a terrorist attack. Of course, this could be something entirely unrelated to terrorism and a full investigation is certainly warranted. More importantly in the short term, chemical facilities should ensure that receiving personnel are alerted to this incident so that they can be alerted to watch all incoming drums for such devices.

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