Experiment with WWI poison gas injures 40 in Munich university
(dpa) - An experiment with phosgene, a poison gas used on the Western Front by both sides during World War I, has led to 40 people at a university in Munich needing hospital treatment, rescue services in the Bavarian capital said Saturday.
A technical defect led to the escape of the deadly gas, which had been produced in an experiment being conducted by three scientists at the Technical University.
The building had to be evacuated. Rescue services said there was no danger to the surrounding population, as noticeable concentrations of the gas could not be detected.
Phosgene, which is based on chlorine, carbon and oxygen, was deployed as a weapon, first by France and then by Germany and Britain, from 1915 onwards.
It replaced the far less effective chlorine and was stockpiled by various countries as a chemical warfare agent until well after World War II.
It is thought to have been one of the lethal gases emitted in the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India in which over 3,000 people died.