Museum exhibit was explosive substance

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Volunteer curator Helen Elliott with the last surviving piece of the tin.
Camera IconVolunteer curator Helen Elliott with the last surviving piece of the tin. Credit: Michael Traill

For decades, visitors of the Old Courthouse Museum on Egerton Street have been flirting with danger, coming within metres of Picric acid, an explosive substance.

Bomb squad officers arrived in town from Perth last Friday morning to detonate the substance on the lawn outside of the museum, closing off part of Egerton street.

A container of Picric acid has been on display at the Old Courthouse Museum since 1977, held within a medical kit from World War I. Picric acid was kept in medical kits and used to dress wounds.

It was also used as an aid to TNT to make grenades and bombs during both world wars. A conversation between a museum visitor and volunteer staff on Tuesday afternoon led to the bomb squad being called in.

The museum was closed from Wednesday until Friday last week.

There was no damage sustained to any individuals or infrastructure.

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