Explosive chemical shuts down waste collection event

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Benton County Household Hazardous Waste Collection had to be canceled Saturday after a woman dropped of a box of laboratory-grade chemicals.

Officials said an unidentified woman dropped off a 50 gram bottle that held about 20 grams of picric acid. They said when the chemical crystallizes it becomes very dangerous.

County officials said they asked the woman to stay while they examined it but she left. It is not clear if the woman knew about the potential explosive she tempted.

The Richland Bomb Squad, along with the Benton County Sheriff's Office and Benton County Fire District #1 responded. They shut down Wiser Parkway from Cottonwood Drive to Badger Loop. People within a half-mile radius were also asked to take shelter or evacuate.

Officials were able to safely dispose of the chemical by detonating it on scene.

The hazardous waste collection event will be rescheduled.

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