Skip to comments.HS guard arrested for allegedly stealing chemicals
Posted on 03/01/2013 1:12:36 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
WALTHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- A 23-year-old security guard at Waltham High School was arrested after he was accused of stealing flammable chemicals from the schools chemistry storage room.
Investigators say the guard stole iron powder, aluminum powder, wires and an emergency battery normally used to jumpstart a car from a chemistry closet. These chemicals can be used to make a bomb.
Police said Holland admitted to stealing the items from the schools chemistry room and he knew the items could make a bomb, but he only wanted to throw them in a fire pit to see what would happen.
(Excerpt) Read more at 1.whdh.com ...
They do not make “a bomb”, they make thermite.
The school district doesn’t employ their own security personnel?
What’s his name on myobama.com?
Guess he found out. There go his dreams of a career in law enforcement.
I can buy his “campfire” story with the iron and aluminum, but he wanted to throw the car battery and wires in the fire, too?
(and someone is having a meltdown over it...)
Still, I can't agree with stealing.
He was a grown up security employee. That was dumb and stupid.
Now, when I was a high school student in the seventies, oh boy, the things that happened to me (cough).
How did they get a car in the chemical closet to begin with?
...the ole’ fire pit excuse...yeap - I wonder how many other chem labs are seeing “stolen items & materials” around the nation???
Now, if the idiot reporter meant "iron oxide powder", particularly "black iron oxide powder", i.e. Fe3O4, well, that would be a different story. Thermite (as you correctly note) in the hands of amateurs is remarkably hazardous. Worse still if the thief had the (half-)wit to also swipe some glycerin and potassium permanganate for a fuse.
This is just another effort (sic) by a scientific illiterate, as well as another instance of incompetent editing by his/her alleged editor.
You can also order it off the net.
Though it can be made to explode with ice, they’re straining credulity to argue it’d be an effective bomb. This article is fear mongering.
Exactly. My first thought when I heard about it on the radio.
As my wife and I are wont to say when confronted by such fools, "I know how he votes".
This is exactly the problem with not letting kids have M-80s. If, as a kid, one can explore small explosions, it usually ends the curiosity well before adulthood.
> ...but he only wanted to throw them in a fire pit to see what would happen.
As my wife and I are wont to say when confronted by such fools, “I know how he votes”.
Low brow Obama supporter no doubt. I wonder if he really believes the detectives bought that...lol
Remember that forest ranger in AZ/NM a while back? She wanted to see what would happen when a fire pit was left, ahem, "unattended".
She thought she would get accolades for reporting the resulting forest fire. Her career came to a screeching halt.
He must have seen “Breaking Bad” season 1.
That stuff melted an impenetrable locked metal door.
That’s what I was wondering.
The easy way to ignite it is with magnesium fuse. Very stable and reliable. I knew one individual who made “thermite art” castings, since it was a lot cheaper than buying a hot oven and gave different, if not better results than compressed gases.
“This is exactly the problem with not letting kids have M-80s. If, as a kid, one can explore small explosions, it usually ends the curiosity well before adulthood.”
65 years ago we made our own...even mixed our own black powder.
And later, in high school I had a key to the chem lab...and no, I didn’t steal anything...
Somewhere I have a US government book for a bomb whose main explosive ingredient is common wheat flour. The detonator used aluminum powder.
Never tried it. I still like my fingers.
In any case, since glycerin is readily available in every chem lab in the world (ok, ok, there's likely one somewhere that doesn't have it), and since PP is so common that it can still be found in old-fashioned first-aid kits, why mess with mag fuses, eh? Just layer the PP on top of/next to the thermite mix, tape a firecracker with a long fuse to an eyedropper full of glycerin and lay on top of/to the side of the PP, light the fuse and foutez le camp.
Much easier. Works just as well, for those who are of a mind to burn things down. Sure hope such idiots don't, ahem, accidentally trip over their own shoelaces while beating feet away from the target site.
That would be, uh, ...uh, ...tragic, wouldn't it?
HS chem labs use 1/4” magnesium ribbon, which doubles as a fuse, because it is reasonably stable. Heat it to about 900F and it will burn at 3100F. But in many states you can buy the equivalent OTC, with fireworks sparklers. Which make superb fuses.
I once got some sparkler great granddaddies, used by miners to ignite mine explosives, in lower tech, smaller mines. About 2’ long and about a third of an inch thick. It was a big help to have welders goggles.
It’s much harder to get your hands on finely powered aluminum power and powdered iron oxide.
It was probably a good thing that back then we couldn’t get our hands on an appreciable amount of titanium. But we learned so much that by the time we did HS chemistry, we were really respectful of incendiaries. And inflammables, compressed gases, gasoline, dust initiators, and any and all types of explosives.