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Rapid Reaction with Picric acid

Taken from news://sci.chem in response to a question on chemical accidents

A Chemist was doing a base-catalyzed reaction on a system including picric acid.  The solvent was methylene chloride. The volume of the solution was only around 50-100 mL or so, and it was in an Erlenmyer flask.  When he added the triethylamine, there was a WOOOOSH like a dry powder fire extinguisher going off.  To this day there is an 8-foot diameter yellow circle on the ceiling.  Lucky he was standing a bit to the side when it went off.

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