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Journalists react as police fire tear gas from Causeway Bay MTR station during clashes with pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on Sept. 8, 2019. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

Hong Kong Police Switch to Flesh-Burning Tear Gas Made in China

 November 4, 2019

Police violence in Hong Kong drastically intensified this past weekend with a new type of hand-thrown, explosive tear gascanister being used against protesters, paramedics, and journalists. At least one person was hit and seriously wounded.

Toward the evening of Nov. 2, Hong Kong police threw tear gas canisters at volunteer paramedics and journalists when dispersing the crowd at Times Square, a shopping mall in Causeway Bay. A paramedic lost consciousness when one of the canisters exploded upon hitting his back, causing serious burns, City Broadcasting Channel (CBC), an independent media run by City University of Hong Kong, reported on Nov. 2.

Other paramedics and CBC journalists at the site immediately carried him away for emergency treatment. A large area of his back was severely burned and charred, and the skin peeled off.

Witnesses say his facial expressions indicated that he was in excruciating pain, and he lost consciousness shortly after the explosion. They also pointed out that the tear gas canister burst into flames when hitting his back.

The injured paramedic was then taken to Ruttonjee Hospital for treatment.

Chinese-Made Tear Gas

South China Morning Post previously reported that according to an information source, Hong Kong police would soon exhaust their existing tear gas canister supply, and would switch to Chinese-made canisters called “Jing An KF-302-20 CS Grenade,” the same type used by the Chinese army’s anti-terrorism squad.

The source revealed that this new, hand-thrown Chinese-made tear gas canister would explode and produce dense smoke in precisely 1.2 seconds after being thrown, giving the protesters less time to react.

During the anti-government protest in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2008, when anti-riot police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters outside the Parliament House, the explosions caused by some tear gas canisters caused three deaths and 478 injuries. Most of the people injured were protesters, and a few were police.

Investigations by Thai authorities later pointed out that Thai police used tear gas canisters from China, the United States, and Spain, while most of the canisters were Chinese-made because of their cheap price. These Chinese-made canisters were found to contain explosives, capable of creating a 3-by-1 inch hole in the ground, and capable of smashing open metal pipes.