World War I Chemical Agent Found in Antique Store


An unlikely find at an antique store Thursday ends with the bomb squad disposing of hazardous material at the 1700 block of Dublin, near North Academy.

An officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department says that two vials of liquid were found inside the store late Thursday morning. The building previously housed an Albertsons and is currently in the process of being renovated into an antique store called Willow Stone Antiques.

"The reporting party found two sealed glass tubes inside an antique safe that he believed to be nitroglycerin. Further investigation revealed that the tubes were formerly attached to the backside of the safe door and the glass was open to the internal locking mechanism. On line research of antique safes revealed that the glass tubes contained chloropicrin, an old World War I chemical agent. Research showed that the glass tubes were used as an aftermarket burglary deterrent, however; prolonged exposure can cause pulmonary edema. The tubes also had the possibility of containing CS or CN tear gas. The Bomb Unit responded and used the Defender Thermal Chemical Analyzer. The test confirmed the substance in the tube to be chloropicrin," explains the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The scene was cleared around 1:45 p.m. and no one was injured.

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  • by FarginBastige on Mar 17, 2011 at 02:54 PM
    chloropicrin. My fingers are sometimes faster than my brain.
  • by FarginBastige on Mar 17, 2011 at 02:07 PM
    According to the Police Blotter, it was cholorpicrin, a WWI era chemical agent. Apparently, it was common back in the day to booby-trap safes with stuff like this as a deterrent to would-be safecrackers.
  • by RatFinkDude Location: CS on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM
    Bet they contain water.
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