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PETN: All you need to know about the undetected powder found in UP Assembly

is one of the most dangerous explosives available, passes undetected through security

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

PETN (Photo:Twitter)
PETN (Photo:Twitter)

The found lying under the seat of a inside the is one of the most dangerous plastic explosives available in the black market and preferred by militants as the easily surpass security checks.

The packet, which weighed around 150 g, was found close to the seat of Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, which is close to the podium where the Speaker sits.

"This is (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate), this is a dangerous substance," Chief Minister told a stunned House soon after it assembled for the day.

"As informed by experts, 500 gm of this is enough to blow up the House," he said.

is one of the most dangerous plastic explosives which is available in the black market, and belongs to the same family as nitroglycerin.

It is preferred by militant groups because it cannot be easily detected owing to its A majority of detectors use metal detectors, but PETN can be kept hidden in a sealed container or an electrical equipment and thus can easily surpass security checks.

"The dog squad failed to detect the explosive that was found by the cleaning staff on July 12," the chief minister said.

Several countries have severe restrictions on purchase of PETN which can be bought in powder form or thin plastic sheet. The substance is legally used by the military and in mining industries where it is used in detonators for detonating cords and mines. PETN can be mixed with other chemicals to form Semtex.

Experts say PETN does not go off on its own. The explosive needs a secondary detonating mechanism to produce heat or a shockwave, which can detonate the explosive. The substance is stable and safe to handle, but requires a primary explosive to detonate it.

PETN substance has been used in a number of bombing incidents over the years.

Apart from reports of from all around the world, the substance is believed to have been used in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast, in which at least 17 people lost their lives.

First Published: Fri, July 14 2017. 15:38 IST