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2ND LD: Gas canisters set off in Osaka city hall washroom.

OSAKA, Feb. 5 Kyodo


About 3,200 people were temporarily evacuated Monday from Osaka City Hall after two gas canister explosions took place in a ground floor washroom in an apparent prank, police said, adding that no one was hurt.

The explosions occurred in a men's lavatory at 3:50 p.m. The ceiling sprinkler system extinguished the fire, police said.

Five gas canisters and a canister of thinner were left at the scene, they added.

Employee Toshio Nakatsuji, 53, said, ''When I reached the washroom, I found white smoke too thick for me to enter. My eyes hurt...and I heard something going bang twice.''

The 10-story city hall is in the Nakanoshima business area of Kita Ward in Japan's third most populous city. The building is located 1.2 kilometers southeast of JR Osaka Station.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Feb 12, 2001
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