Investigation continues into missing CCAC chemicals

City safety chief says agents could pose danger

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Chem­i­cals taken this week from the Com­mu­nity Col­lege of Al­le­gheny County could be used in drug man­u­fac­tur­ing or to cre­ate ex­plo­sives, act­ing Pitts­burgh pub­lic safety di­rec­tor Ste­phen Bu­car said Thurs­day night.

Mr. Bu­car would not name the chem­i­cals taken but down­played their po­ten­tial uses, say­ing that many sub­stances found un­der a typ­i­cal kitchen sink also could be used to make ex­plo­sives.

“There is no in­di­ca­tion that the chem­i­cals were taken for any spe­cific rea­son,” Mr. Bu­car said.

Po­lice were called to the North Side col­lege’s K. Le­roy Ir­vis Science Center shortly af­ter it opened Tues­day morn­ing af­ter some­one dis­cov­ered that chem­i­cals used in a sci­ence lab were miss­ing.

Part of the sci­ence cen­ter was flooded in Jan­u­ary, but de­tails about the flood­ing were scarce Thurs­day. Amy Kuntz, chair­woman of the school’s board of trust­ees, said she was aware of the flood but did not think it had af­fected the way the school stored its chem­i­cals.

Ms. Kuntz said CCAC pres­i­dent Quin­tin Bul­lock had been pro­vid­ing her with reg­u­lar up­dates since the bur­glary. She said she could not dis­cuss the “lay­out of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Stu­dents and staff mem­bers con­tin­ued to use the sci­ence cen­ter Thurs­day but were blocked from the area where the chem­i­cals were stored, Ms. Kuntz said.

Mr. Bu­car said there will be ad­di­tional se­cu­rity mea­sures in place for the city’‍s Fourth of July cel­e­bra­tions. He said those changes were pre-planned based on his ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in New York City and were not re­lated to the theft.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-ga­zette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twit­ter @LizNavratil. First Published July 3, 2014 12:00 AM


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