PhD Student Accidentally Makes Same Explosive Used in Paris Attacks

A PhD student from Bristol University accidentally made the same explosive substance that was used in the Paris attacks, forcing experts to conduct a controlled explosion.

The unnamed student “unintentionally formed” the substance triacetone triperoxide — better known as TATP — in a “routine procedure” earlier this month, an investigation by Bristol University revealed. TATP is the same chemical that was used in the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the Brussels bombings, as well as the 7/7 bombings carried out in London in 2005.

Emergency services were forced to evacuate the building, before a cordon was placed around the university’s chemistry block. A controlled explosion was then carried out, with no injuries sustained as a result of the incident.


Bristol University. (Image Credit: Olaf Protze / Getty Images)

A spokesperson Bristol University said: “We have robust contingency plans in place to deal with incidents of this nature. As soon as the presence of TATP was identified the student immediately notified those responsible for laboratory safety in the school.

“A series of actions were then taken which resulted in the precautionary evacuation of the chemistry building and surrounding buildings and the controlled disposal of the substance by the emergency services.”

TATP is known for being both simple to make and easy to set off, though it is susceptible to accidental detonations as a result. This has led to it being a highly risky substance for would-be attackers to use, with there existing many reports of it wounding those attempting to detonate it.

Police have stated that they are not treating the incident as suspicious, and Bristol University has said it is reviewing its teaching methods in order to prevent such an incident from taking place in the future.

Featured Image Credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images