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Nine people have received medical treatment after coming into contact with an unknown substance sprayed by a man in Selfridge’s London.
The Metropolitan Police arrived at about 1.40pm on Thursday to reports of a disturbance, and arrested the man on suspicion of affray.
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Shoppers and staff members who had been affected by the irritant were checked over by paramedics with the London Ambulance Service.
Eight were given the all-clear, though one customer needed extended monitoring by medics, a Selfridge’s spokesperson said.
The shop was not evacuated and continues to trade as normal, according to the spokesperson.
Scotland Yard described the irritant used as “an unknown substance which causes similar effects to CS gas”.
Carly Harrison, 34, told The Sun that she first heard a “loud bang” during the incident, adding: “My friend went over to see what had happened, but came back saying she couldn’t breathe, she said it was like she was being suffocated.
“She started coughing, then I started coughing, and then the other shoppers near us started coughing too – it was like something out of a scary movie, a ripple across the shop floor.”
The effects of CS gas are typically short-lived and manifest as excess tear production, sore eyes, coughing and tightness in the chest.