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Pepper Spray Causes Irritation in Harvard T Stop

The T station in Harvard Square was closed briefly on Sunday evening following reports of pepper spray released inside.
The T station in Harvard Square was closed briefly on Sunday evening following reports of pepper spray released inside. By Megan M. Ross
By Michael E. Xie, Crimson Staff Writer

A release of pepper spray in the Harvard MBTA station briefly closed the Red Line stop Sunday, burning the eyes of some passerby and hospitalizing one person.

The Cambridge Fire Department, Cambridge Police Department, and MBTA Police responded to the incident just before 6 p.m. and found a gaseous odor, according to CPD spokesperson Jeremy Warnick. Police also briefly closed Harvard Square to motor vehicle traffic as they responded to the incident.

Paramedics were at the scene to provide medical treatment, according to a tweet from Cambridge Fire Department.

“Medical responded and treated several people with only one being transported to [the] hospital,” Warnick wrote in an email. “All others refused further treatment.”

Cambridge Fire Department took air readings in the station and reported “no indication of elevated readings,” according to Warnick. In a tweet at 7:46 p.m., Cambridge Fire Department said they determined that the odor was caused by pepper spray released in the ramp area between train levels.

Shortly after the response, the MBTA tweeted at 6:15 p.m. that they had closed the Red Line and several bus routes to the Harvard Square station.

After venting the station, within half an hour, Cambridge Fire Department cleared the station and all lines resumed regular service, according to Warnick. Streets were also reopened.

—Staff writer Michael E. Xie can be reached at michael.xie@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEXie1.

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CambridgeCambridge PoliceMBTACambridge Fire Department

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