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Pepper spray can breaks in University of Minnesota hospital

A woman's canister of pepper spray broke Friday in the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview entrance, flooding the area with its irritant, the Minnesota Daily reported.
According to a police report, Lynn Hawkins damaged the cap of her pepper spray when she pulled her keys from her purse. The canister then started spraying its contents into the room.
When Hawkins’ niece failed to fix the cap, the two threw the pepper spray into a hospital garbage and left, according to the report.
Minneapolis firefighters who arrived at the scene disposed of the pepper spray, ventilated the room and aided affected hospital-goers, the report said.
University Police Lt. Troy Buhta said the spray, which irritates eyes and causes coughing, could have been a serious issue if it had entered the hospital's ventilation system.
The best way to get rid of a broken pepper spray canister is to put it in a plastic bag and tie the top to stop the spray from spreading, Buhta said.