I'm writing a story where a serious multi-vehicle pileup happens in the winter during foggy weather. I need the fallout from this to include the escape of a substance that will cause significant injury/loss of life to those immediately involved in the accident.

What chemical can I use that is regularly transported by road in the UK that could cause this to happen?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Liquified Petroleum Gas (Flo Gas or Calor) - if it spilled and ignited $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Mar 20 '19 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ Chlorine, particularly in still, foggy weather (the main contributing factor to the only fatalities in large bulk transport of chlorine in the US that I know of). $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 20 '19 at 13:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Likely one of your choice gov.uk/guidance/moving-dangerous-goods $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Mar 20 '19 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ Liquid sodium? I used to work near a plant (now closed) where 40 Ton tankers of liquid sodium were a key feedstock. And this was considered safer than manual loading of sodium ingots into the plant. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Mar 20 '19 at 13:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Liquid nitrogen/carbon dioxide could asphyxiate many nearby. $\endgroup$
    – A.K.
    Mar 20 '19 at 15:08

Organophosphates in general would be a great idea as you can go from potent insecticides to chemical warfare as it fits the drama of your story.


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