I don’t know if this is really in the “It’s Only Fiction `til It Happens” pocket, but I wrote a scene set in Paris where bad guys cover some money laundering tracks by blowing up an art gallery and killing the people who work there. The French authorities never suspect any foul play because the perpetrators made it look like a gas leak explosion. A few weeks ago, a real building exploded here in Manhattan’s East Village. Two people died. God rest their souls.
It made me feel creepy. It also made me think.
Last year a whole apartment building, up in Harlem, was destroyed in a gas explosion. When you consider the fact that gas is in 99.9 percent of every home, apartment house and business in the developed world, it’s amazing that it doesn’t happen with more frequency. I guess the fact that when it does happen, it makes the news, bodes well for how relatively safe it is worldwide.
In The God Particle, I used a gas emergency to ferret out some bad guys in a European neighborhood. And in a Bourne movie, he breaks the gas line and puts a magazine in the toaster. When it pop the whole house pops along with it. Steven Segal turned on the gas jets in the galley of a battleship and threw something in the microwave and set it for “Boom.” So using gas as a deadly device in fiction is not new. It’s how you trigger it that is the area for “fresh air”, i.e. toasters, ringing phones, electrical contacts attached to doorways that spark, etc. By the way, none of those igniters are what I used in my novel, but you’ll have to wait till October 20th when, “Give Us This Day” premieres at a bookstore near you.
But still, having a real deadly explosion, so close to my fictionalized deadly explosion is a little unnerving.