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

A bottle containing “an unknown possible explosive substance” was discovered in a lab inside a UC San Diego science building Wednesday evening and 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 spokesperson said. The seven-story building is off North Torrey Pines Road near La Jolla Shores Drive.

Campus environment health and safety workers responded and requested help from San Diego Fire-Rescue’s hazmat team and bomb squad. The FBI’s bomb squad also responded and the Sheriff 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 spokesperson Leslie Sepuka said.

She did not immediately know what the 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.

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