Gas theft is no laughing matter

POLICE are warning that the theft of nitrous oxide - otherwise known as laughing gas - is no laughing matter.

At around 7.15am today, Thursday, October 29, police received a report that the canisters were missing after a storage area was broken into at the Blyth Community Hospital in Thoroton Street.

The stolen canister contains undiluted nitrous oxide – which in its current concentration could prove fatal to anyone inhaling it. If the gas is exposed to a naked flame or extreme heat conditions it is flammable.

Officers are carrying out extensive enquiries to find those responsible and would urge anyone who is offered the nitrous oxide to contact police immediately.

Blyth Neighbourhood Inspector Trevor Oakley said: “The gas has a similar effect to helium and is often referred to as a laughing gas. If it is consumed in large amounts it has the potential to suffocate the user.

“It is also a flammable source if it’s exposed to a naked flame or extreme heat conditions.

“I’d ask anyone who has information about the theft or as to where the canister is now to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043043 ext 69191.