Firefighters deal with liquid nitrogen leak in Watford General Hospital

WGH nitrogen by @A07Fire via Twitter.

WGH nitrogen by @A07Fire via Twitter.

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Firefighters were called to Watford General Hospital today after a liquid nitrogen cylinder started leaking.

Crews from Watford and Rickmansworth attended the incident at the dermatology unit at about 1pm.

Watch Commander Lee Haward, from Watford Fire Station, said: "The staff had gone to turn it (the cylinder) off but there was a fault with the valve. I think it was approximately an hour before we were called. It was a small problem in terms of a hazard."

The building was evacuated while two firefighters wearing breathing masks moved the canister to a safe place outside, which was cordoned off. The hospital then called the company, which supplies its nitrogen, to deal with the canister.

Mr Haward said there was no real danger to patients in the incident, but added: "If nitrogen spills or comes into contact with anything organic, i.e. human flesh, it will freeze."

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:48pm Tue 11 Feb 14

TRT says...

"If nitrogen spills or comes into contact with anything organic, i.e. human flesh, it will freeze."

OMG! But the atmosphere is 80% nitrogen! Someone should be told about this danger!
"If nitrogen spills or comes into contact with anything organic, i.e. human flesh, it will freeze." OMG! But the atmosphere is 80% nitrogen! Someone should be told about this danger! TRT
  • Score: -2

5:54pm Tue 11 Feb 14

JonBoy says...

wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with
wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with JonBoy
  • Score: -2

6:07pm Tue 11 Feb 14

TRT says...

JonBoy wrote:
wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with
If you were referring to me as "wally" ... I work with the stuff every day.
[quote][p][bold]JonBoy[/bold] wrote: wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with[/p][/quote]If you were referring to me as "wally" ... I work with the stuff every day. TRT
  • Score: 2

6:11pm Tue 11 Feb 14

TRT says...

JonBoy wrote:
wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with
Besides that's not strictly true is it? I mean it won't freeze hydrogen, or helium or more nitrogen. And it won't freeze metal will it. Or glass.
[quote][p][bold]JonBoy[/bold] wrote: wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with[/p][/quote]Besides that's not strictly true is it? I mean it won't freeze hydrogen, or helium or more nitrogen. And it won't freeze metal will it. Or glass. TRT
  • Score: 1

6:39pm Tue 11 Feb 14

E.Coli says...

TRT wrote:
JonBoy wrote:
wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with
Besides that's not strictly true is it? I mean it won't freeze hydrogen, or helium or more nitrogen. And it won't freeze metal will it. Or glass.
What a lot of cold air
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JonBoy[/bold] wrote: wally, this is liquid nitrogen, when it changes from liquid to gas it freezes anything it comes into contact with[/p][/quote]Besides that's not strictly true is it? I mean it won't freeze hydrogen, or helium or more nitrogen. And it won't freeze metal will it. Or glass.[/p][/quote]What a lot of cold air E.Coli
  • Score: 6

11:20pm Tue 11 Feb 14

AngryD11 says...

So TRT you work with it everyday, what would happen if you got liquid nitrogen your skin? Do you have to wear any ppe if you have to work close to it?
If the answer is anything to do with causing damage or injury I would say it's a hazard.
I'd also say it's a hazard to anyone who doesn't have your superior knowledge. I'm sure it's safe in your hands with all your training and expertise. I used beech everyday doesn't mean I'll let my kids play with it
So TRT you work with it everyday, what would happen if you got liquid nitrogen your skin? Do you have to wear any ppe if you have to work close to it? If the answer is anything to do with causing damage or injury I would say it's a hazard. I'd also say it's a hazard to anyone who doesn't have your superior knowledge. I'm sure it's safe in your hands with all your training and expertise. I used beech everyday doesn't mean I'll let my kids play with it AngryD11
  • Score: -1

12:21am Wed 12 Feb 14

TRT says...

AngryD11 wrote:
So TRT you work with it everyday, what would happen if you got liquid nitrogen your skin? Do you have to wear any ppe if you have to work close to it?
If the answer is anything to do with causing damage or injury I would say it's a hazard.
I'd also say it's a hazard to anyone who doesn't have your superior knowledge. I'm sure it's safe in your hands with all your training and expertise. I used beech everyday doesn't mean I'll let my kids play with it
Liquid nitrogen? Of course it's hazardous. My original comment was not intended to deny that but to point out an error in the quote. Jeesh.
[quote][p][bold]AngryD11[/bold] wrote: So TRT you work with it everyday, what would happen if you got liquid nitrogen your skin? Do you have to wear any ppe if you have to work close to it? If the answer is anything to do with causing damage or injury I would say it's a hazard. I'd also say it's a hazard to anyone who doesn't have your superior knowledge. I'm sure it's safe in your hands with all your training and expertise. I used beech everyday doesn't mean I'll let my kids play with it[/p][/quote]Liquid nitrogen? Of course it's hazardous. My original comment was not intended to deny that but to point out an error in the quote. Jeesh. TRT
  • Score: 2

8:00am Wed 12 Feb 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Glad to note we're tackling the big issues here
Glad to note we're tackling the big issues here Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree