The contents may be found disintegrated due to the absorption of water from the air, consequent upon exposure. The product resulting from the incidental chemical change may be either:
A "bone dry" finely powdered talc-like substance (Calcium Hydroxide), which when brought into contact with water will only give a very poor and insignificant yield of acetylene, as it will be almost entirely composed of "slaked lime," or a sludge.
Since Calcium Carbide is known to evolve acetylene only slowly when exposed to damp air, the condition described under (a) would indicate that the actual wetting and/or commencement of the exposure must have taken place quite some time prior to arrival at destination.
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