We gotta get out of this place


On Monday morning the Nature offices in the King’s Cross area of London were evacuated.

The problem? – Gas.

Following a fire on a nearby building site, there was a danger that four gas cylinders would explode (BBC coverage here). The standard procedure apparently involves cooling down the cylinders with water and then waiting 24 hours before removing them. I remember last year when a similar thing happened in the back of a van on the M25, someone suggested deliberately blowing up the cylinder by firing an armour-piercing bullet at it – a much more instant, and obviously spectacular, solution! (Unsurprisingly, the authorities went for the watch-and-wait approach).

I worked in chemistry labs for quite a few years and never had trouble with gas cylinders – it seems ironic that only now they cause me problems…

Anyway, two days later, we’ve been allowed back in to our offices – without a single shot being fired.

Sometimes gas is not a laughing matter.


Stuart Cantrill (Associate Editor, Nature Nanotechnology)

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