A blast at the Karnataka Forensic Science Lab (FSL) in Bengaluru on Friday left six people injured.
The incident occurred when FSL lab technicians were prying open a sample of the explosive sent for examination from the site of a blast in Raichur in north Karnataka. The blast is suspected to have been caused by a sample of the industrial chemical methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP), which becomes very sensitive when it solidifies into crystals if stored for a long period of time, and can result in explosions with the slightest amount of friction, chemical and explosive experts said.
“The blast in the chemical section of the forensic lab occurred when one of the technicians tried to open a sample sent to the lab from Raichur for chemical analysis,” lab sources said.
“The explosive material was sent from the Raichur West division to the chemistry lab for analysis. This is the first such incident at the lab. The fingers of Srinath, a senior scientific officer, were damaged in the explosion,” Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.
On May 19, an accidental blast involving MEKP occurred outside the home of a Congress MLA in Bengaluru, killing one. Two previous incidents involved MEKP — in October 2018 at Raichur and August 2015 at Ballari.