Amber Souvenir Goes Up in Flames

Hamburg, Germany A 41-year-old woman was very lucky when she picked up what she believed to be a small piece of amber from wet sand beside the River Elbe and put it in the pocket of her jacket. The object, which actually turned out to be white phosphorus (WP), caught on fire inside the garment when it reacted with the air as it dried.

Firefighters then searched the beach looking for additional explosive material, but did not find any. WP burns at extremely high temperatures when exposed to air.

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