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3 sent to Vermont hospital after bear spray exposure

September 24, 2021 GMT

WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — Three people were sent to a Vermont hospital with non-life-threatening complaints Friday after being exposed to bear spray at a local hotel, the Williston Fire Department said.

Emergency crews were sent to a local inn about 10:30 a.m. Friday after receiving a report that four employees were having difficulty breathing.

The investigation determined a can of bear attack deterrent was left in one of the second floor rooms where it was accidentally discharged by housekeeping staff. Bear spray is stronger than police pepper spray.

Officials say 30 people in the hotel were evacuated. Three people were taken to the hospital and a fourth was treated at the hotel and released.

The firefighters ventilated the building. Occupants and staff of the hotel were able to reoccupy the building shortly after noon.