Visalia fire and police detonated picric acid Saturday after a resident dropped it off at a city waste site.
Picric acid is a highly volatile chemical, Fire Battalion Chief Darrin Hughes said. It is often used in testing labs mixed with water as a desensitizer, and sometimes it is used in farming, Hughes said.
The substance was in crystal form when it was dropped off at the waste site on North Cain Street. In this form, picric acid is highly sensitive to heat, shock or friction.
Because of the possible explosive nature of the substance, the Visalia police and fire departments, along with the Tulare County Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, buried and then detonated the acid.
The waste site closed while the acid was detonated and reopened immediately after.
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