Chillies spark attack fear

BURNING chillies sparked fears of a chemical attack in London.Police shut-off three roads and evacuated homes as a cloud of smoke filled the air but the source of the fumes turned out to be some chillies cooking in a restaurant kitchen.

BURNING chillies sparked fears of a chemical attack in London.

Police shut-off three roads and evacuated homes as a cloud of smoke filled the air but the source of the fumes turned out to be some chillies cooking in a restaurant kitchen.

Firefighters were called to D'Arblay Street, Soho, on Monday evening as members of the public were shepherded away.

The crews broke down the door of a Thai restaurant and emerged at around 7pm with a large pot of chillies.

Staff at the restaurant said they were surprised by the reaction of the emergency services.

Chef Chalemchai Tangjariyapoon told The Times: "I was making a spicy dip with extra-hot chillies that are deliberately burnt.

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"To us it smells like burnt chilli and it is slightly unusual.

"I can understand why people who weren't Thai would not know what it was. But it doesn't smell like chemicals. I'm a bit confused."

He was preparing Nam Prik Pao, a red-hot Thai dip served with prawn crackers, the paper said.

The dip is prepared with garlic, shrimp paste, dried shrimp and vegetable oil.