Powder attack reported in England

Police in Manchester, England, have arrested four people in connection to attacks made with powder from a fire extinguisher that caused a major chemical alert.

Police and firefighters were called to North Manchester General Hospital on August 2 after a victim was taken there with burns to his face. The hospital’s emergency room was closed around 3 p.m., according to the Manchester Evening News.

A second victim was taken to Collyhurst police station, which was also closed, according to the Manchester Evening News. Both facilities were reopened once the powder was deemed harmless. A third victim came forward later in the day, around 5 p.m.

"We were then told there was a major chemical incident and we all had to be locked in for our own safety,” Sadie Kirkham, who was at the hospital, told the Manchester Evening News. "Some people who had nipped outside for a cigarette couldn’t get back in to see their children. We didn’t know what on earth it was. It could have been anthrax or anything. I think they did the right thing in keeping us in."

In total, three black men were targeted, and police are calling the attacks racist in nature. A victim described how a blue van pulled up next to his taxi. A group of youths exited the vehicle and sprayed him through his open window. Police believe there may be other victims involved and urge them to call police and seek medical advice.