OSAKA — Police arrested three teenagers Aug. 14 for allegedly releasing tear gas in a supermarket in Hirano Ward, Osaka, earlier this month, causing about 500 customers respiratory problems.

An irritating odor began to spread after the boys, aged 17 and 18, dropped what looked like bottle caps near the first floor escalator in the Daiei supermarket in the Nagayoshi district on Aug. 4, according to witnesses. Police said the boys bought tear gas spray in a model gun shop and released it inside the store.

About 500 people were evacuated from the store at around 3:30 p.m. Officials said 49 people were then taken to nearby hospitals suffering throat irritation, including 12 who were listed as serious cases.

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