In what could be described as a stroke of mad genius, the work of an actual idiot or an overly enthused Breaking Bad fan, somebody built a meth lab within a federal research facility. And it exploded.
Reported to have taken place on July 18 at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the explosion injured a patrolling security guard, who sustained non-life-threatening burns, and has since resigned.
Methamphetamine is an illegal stimulant, which is often cooked to various degrees of purity in home laboratories.
Evidence found at the scene of the incident is “consistent with the production of the illicit synthetic drug methamphetamine,” local police say.
As NIST is part of the Commerce Department, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, wrote to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to convey how “troubled by the allegations” he was, reportedChemical & Engineering News. Smith also expressed his concerns about such illegal activities possibly happening at other federal facilities.