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Gas attack at Dublin hospital
[Posted: Fri 14/05/2004 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
The Prison Officers' Association has called for a review of the security arrangements used when escorting prisoners to hospital, following an incident in Tallaght Hospital yesterday, in which a prisoner sprayed CS gas during an escape attempt.
At least 13 people, including two prison officers and a number of patients and visitors were treated for exposure to the gas. The physical effects of CS gas, which are felt almost immediately, include a burning of the eyes, nose or throat and nausea. Recovery occurs quickly once brought into the fresh air.
The prisoner, a Belgian national, was on remand at CloverHill Prison on drug smuggling charges. After complaining of chest pains, he was taken to Tallaght Hospital. It is understood he asked to use the bathroom and following this, produced a can of CS gas, which he began spraying.
The prison officers managed to restrain him and he was returned to Cloverhill Prison.
It is unclear whether he obtained the can in the bathroom or whether it was passed to him at some other time. Both the Gardai and the Prison Service have begun investigations, in an attempt to establish how he obtained the gas.
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