An out of control Chinese space station could smash into a major world city at the beginning of 2018.

The European Space Agency said the 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1, or “Heavenly Palace”, satellite could hit “any spot” between two latitude lines in the northern and southern hemispheres.

ESA experts said the 12-metre long craft would crash into Earth’s atmosphere at some point between January and March 2018.

The UK should be safe, according to ESA’s calculations, but New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Rome, Istanbul and Tokyo are among major cities that could be at risk – although the potential impact area is so large that residents shouldn’t be too worried about impending death from above.