Explosion in prison as inmates detonate makeshift bomb 'using tea whitener'


Prisoners detonated a makeshift bomb allegedly made fom tea and coffee whitener from the jail canteen.

One inmate ignited the explosive device, a plastic container with whitener inside, and slid it under a stairwell at Cardiff Prison. 
The device erupted as he stepped away prompting a police investigation. 
Four men were initially arrested. Three of the inmates have since been cleared as South Wales police continue to investigate. 
The Ministry of Justice confirmed the arrests and said no prisoners or staff were hurt in the incident on June 15. 
Acting chairman of the Prison Officers Association Mark Fairhurst has demanded the withdrawal of tea and coffee whiteners from all of Britain’s 120 prisons if it is proven they were the cause of the explosion. 
Mr Fairhurst said: “I have never heard of this happening before but if there is a risk action needs to be taken.
“Coffee whiteners need to be withdrawn and replaced by cartons of milk - that can't be too difficult.”
The white powder is highly flammable and is used by prisoners who do not have access to fresh milk. 
Dr Ben Ward, from Cardiff University, said whiteners can be turned into explosives if ignited. 
He said: "Any very finely divided organic powder like coffee and tea whiteners is combustible and can really burn quite quickly.
"The smaller the particles the more likely they are to burn and if they burn quickly enough they can cause an explosion.
"It's the same with tiny grains of flour, custard powder and coal dust which was a major cause of explosions in coal mines."

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