Residents suffer from military exercise tear gas in town bordering North Korea

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/19 19:43:40

Jilin residents suffer from tear gas from military exercise ‘accident’

The government of Baishan, Northeast China's Jilin Province apologized on Friday after local residents were affected by the effect of tear gas from a nearby military training exercise.

The publicity office of Baishan government issued an apology on its Sina Weibo, saying that during an annual military training exercise, the wind suddenly changed direction and blew the tear gas from the outskirts of the city to the downtown area.

A video released by Shanghai Radio and Television's Kankan News shows patients crowded inside a Baishan hospital.

"We inhaled very pungent gas, and my nose and throat itched," quoted a resident on Saturday.

Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday that tear gas is not life-threatening as long as people don't stay in the area for very long.

"People can use water to wash their eyes and noses, and rinse their mouth to eliminate the discomfort. They normally recover in five to 15 minutes," Song added.

Local authorities have begun relief operations, reported.

Baishan's public security bureau said on its official Weibo account on Saturday that the discomfort would wear off after leaving the affected area, and advised residents to immediately go to a hospital if they feel bad.

Some netizens suspected the training was conducted to deal with possible border emergencies, as Baishan is a border city near North Korea.

But Song dismissed it. He said tear gas is potent in a relatively closed space like city streets and tunnels, but a greener area offsets its effect.

"The border area with North Korea is covered with vegetation and forests, which will absorb harsh chemicals and reduce their effect," Song said, adding that disputes are unlikely to take place in the area.

Newspaper headline: Jilin residents suffer from tear gas from military exercise ‘accident’


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