By: Foday Manneh
The Spokeswoman of the Gambia police force told Alkamba Times that a woman affected by the unintended explosion of tear gas during Police training in Basse had been discharged from the Hospital.
“I can confirm the incident during the police training exercise in Basse. A 35-year-old woman was affected by the gas used during the practice and was taken to the Hospital by the Police for treatment and discharged afterward,’ Cadet ASP Njie told Alkamba Times early Friday morning.
One of the incident’s victims, Mariama Kanuteh, said the explosion affected several people, including women, children, students, and even babies around the vicinity.
“I came home at that time and heard people shouting for help. I saw others running. Some said it was an electric spark; eventually, we were told it was tear gas that exploded from the Police training at the stadium.” Mariama narrates.
“It affected a lot of people. Some of the children fainted and were rushed to the Hospital. A breastfeeding baby in our compound was severely crying.”
According to Mariama, a Police Officer confessed at the Hospital that it was their tear gas that exploded during a training exercise.
A shopkeeper who witnessed the incident, Mamadou Saidou Barry, said he was never aware of any communication made by Police to inform the public about the training.
“My sister at the shop was on call when this happened, and she has my child on her back. But she was affected in the lungs, and the baby nearly died,” Saidou said.
“She came in shouting, and I was inside; when I came out, I had to take water to pour on my head and the children and students around here.”
A resident of Basse Santa Su, Mamadou Yaya, said the training space of the Police in Basse was putting the lives of residents at risk. He urged them to look for a better environment to conduct training.
Basse resident Modou Jakiteh also shared the same view as Mamadou and said, “I had never seen this before. We are not saying the Police should not train here, but this is no way to do it. If you are to train on anything explosive, you must do it in the bush, not in public. This is dangerous.”