US Embassy in Myanmar apologizes after tear gas accident

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar issued a public apology Monday after a tear gas grenade accidentally exploded during a security exercise, sending fumes out onto the street and sparking rumors of a bomb.

The embassy, located in Yangon, said in a statement that no one was injured in the Sunday night incident and that its operations were continuing normally.

All major U.S. embassies around the world have Marine Security Guard detachments for everyday and emergency security. Their armaments include tear gas, which can be employed if there is a violent breach of the premises.

A policeman for the neighborhood where the embassy is located said Myanmar officials had not been informed beforehand about the security exercise.

“The embassy staff apologized to us, saying this would be the first and last time such an accident would occur,” said the officer, Thein Han. “The gas was leaking outside and caused some disturbance to the public, but there wasn’t any damage or injury.”

The embassy’s statement acknowledged that the accident inconvenienced some passers-by and a neighboring business.

“We apologize to our neighbors and others who were in the area,” it said.

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