A controlled explosion was carried out in UCC on Thursday evening by members of the Defence Forces Emergency Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.
One eye-witness told The Echo he had heard “the biggest bang you could imagine” as the EOD team – formerly known as the bomb squad – carried out the controlled explosion.
“It must surely be the loudest bang heard in the city since the Siege of Cork,” the witness, who declined to be named, said.
A spokesperson for UCC said the college could confirm that a controlled disposal of a chemical from its Food Science building had taken place after 5pm on Thursday.
“The Defence Forces removed the chemical from the Food Science building and brought it to the lower grounds for a controlled explosion.
“This exercise passed by safely, and UCC would like to thank the Defence Forces for their assistance in this matter,” the spokesperson said.
They said the chemical was 2, 4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine and it had been no longer needed by the university.
Asked why the chemical had needed to be blown up, and whether the controlled explosion had need to be carried out as a matter of urgency, the spokesperson said: “In certain circumstances it may present a risk once removed from proper storage, which is why a controlled explosion was necessary to ensure safe disposal.”
The spokesperson added that the controlled explosion had been conducted by the appropriate specialists in a safe and secured area after 5pm, a time of minimal campus occupation.