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Discarded tear gas suspected in dumpster incident

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • White fumes spewed from the Darrington, Washington, dumpster Thrusday
  • The dumpster was at the fire department
  • Seven people fell ill from gas fumes

(CNN) -- Gas that spewed from a trash dumpster outside the Darrington, Washington, fire department, sickening several people Thursday morning, may have been tear gas that was thrown away, a fire spokeswoman said.

Seven people inhaled the white fumes stirred up when a city waste management crew began emptying the trash into a truck, Darrington Fire spokeswoman Trudy Ladouceur said.

Documents found in the dumpster suggested a tear gas canister in the dumpster was from the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department, which has an office in the fire headquarters building, Ladouceur said.

Those who fell ill, including several waste management workers, were taken to a hospital for treatment, she said.