Police station evacuated after cyanide handed in
A RURAL police station had to be evacuated after a woman walked into the office with a jar of potentially deadly potassium cyanide.
The woman unwittingly sparked the major chemical response alert when she called at the police station at Blairgowrie in Perthshire with a sealed container of the toxic substance she had found during a house clearance.
The police station was cleared while Tayside Fire and Rescue Service units from Perth, Blairgowrie and Dundee launched a full hazmat [hazardous material] response.
Kevin Lennon, a station manager with the fire service, said it was understood that the woman had been clearing out her parents’ home when she came across the container and had taken the substance to the police station at Blairgowrie to ask for advice.
He said: “They were tidying up the house and came upon the jar of a chemical. They were not sure what to do with it and had taken it into the police.
“Unfortunately it was quite old, possibly from the 1920s or 30s, and the police were a bit concerned and phoned the fire brigade.”
Potassium cyanide is regularly used by entomologists for collecting insects and emits a small amount of cyanide gas.
Senior Nazis Herman Goering and Heinrich Himmler used potassium cyanide pills to commit suicide after being captured at the end of the Second World War.
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