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Apparent Gassing Hits Yokohama

Sat., April 22, 1995, midnight

For the second time this week, panic convulsed Yokohama when 25 people were rushed to hospitals Friday suffering from a mysterious outbreak of stinging eyes and sore throats.

The apparent gassing left no one seriously hurt but the scare was the latest challenge to authorities, who have yet to arrest anyone since a nerve gas attack March 20 in nearby Tokyo’s subways killed 12 people.

The scene of the apparent crime Friday was the third floor of a shopping center in Yokohama that is popular with young people and just a two-minute walk from the train station.

At the height of the evening rush hour, shoppers suddenly smelled something strange and felt the same symptoms as in the other Yokohama attack - stinging in the eyes, throat pains, sudden illness.

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