An extra-spicy Thai chili sauce shut down part of central London, police said Wednesday, after pedestrians told authorities on Monday about a strong chemical smell that left a burning sensation in their throats. In response to the odor reports, the London Fire Brigade sent a chemical response team to London's busy Soho district, where roads were closed, buildings sealed and passersby evacuated. Firefighters wearing special breathing masks smashed down the door to Thai Cottage -- only to discover bird's eye chilies, an ingredient for a "nam prik pao" sauce, had been left dry-frying in the kitchen. "It's the hottest thing we make," the restaurant's owner told the Times of London. A police spokesman said there would be no arrests since "it's not a criminal offense to cook very strong chili."
From today's Wall Street Journal