According to the Telegraph, eight police officers were hospitalised after a drug raid in Birmingham yesterday night. All eight officers were exposed to a subtance, thought to be a mixture of petrol and heroin. Symptoms endured by the officers included vomiting and nausea.

Petrol has been used to smuggle heroin before, and it is almost certain that the vomiting was due to a sudden inhalation of petrol vapour in a confined space, during a raid that would have prompted an exceptionally high breathing rate among the officers.

It is highly unlikely that this was a deliberate weapon, due to its inherent instability (i.e., its flammability). It is also unlikely that the heroin evaporated with the petrol in significant amounts. It is more likely that the majority of the drug remained behind as distillate.

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