MONTREAL — Pepper spray unleashed during a fight between two people on a Montreal subway platform forced a major transit shutdown Wednesday at the height of the morning rush hour.
The incident took place at Champ-de-Mars, a station near Montreal's city hall and not far from a major hub where three metro lines intersect.
The spray forced officials to shut down those three lines to air out the tunnels and nearby stations, stranding thousands of commuters for about half an hour. Regular service resumed at 9 a.m.
Mayor Valerie Plante said about 250,000 people pass through the hub — Berri-UQAM — every rush hour, and for health reasons authorities could not take any chances of the pepper spray spreading.
"It shows me that the emergency plan worked. I am very proud of that," Plante said
Montreal police Const. Caroline Chevrefils said about 15 bystanders were affected by the spray, with two requiring attention from paramedics. Plante said one person was taken to hospital.
Police say the target of the attack was a man in his 50s. The suspect, believed to be in his 40s, fled the scene.