Essex

Warning over laughing gas stolen from Essex hospital

Thieves have broken into a storeroom at an Essex hospital and made off with 14 cylinders of a pain-killing gas.

The cylinders, taken from a secure store at Colchester General Hospital between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, contain nitrous oxide.

Also called laughing gas, it is used as a pain-killer throughout the hospital but especially for accident casualties, in childbirth and after surgery.

It can have serious side-effects if used incorrectly, the hospital warned.

Police are carrying out an investigation into the burglary.

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