Jalan Tun Perak: Casualties of noble cause

Supporters of Bersih, which came down in droves at Jalan Tun Perak were probably were the worst hit, when tear gas and chemical laced water were pumped on them.

Just about when most of the supporters were about to disperse and waiting for the Masjid Jamek LRT station to open the doors, police fired the tear gas and eventually sprayed the chemical laced water.

The sight was the most horrible to witness with supporters running helter-skelter and some going down due to short of breath as well vomitting.

This is the scene in front of Jalan Melaka leading to Jalan Tun Perak.  After spraying the main crowd in Jalan Tun Perak, the water canon turned to spray into the adjacent roads where smaller number of Bersih supporters were either seeking refuge or waiting for the Masjid Jamek LRT station to be re-opened.

To escape the spraying of the chemical laced water, many Bersih supporters ran into Jalan Melaka to seek refuge.  The main entrance to the LRT along the Jalan Melaka was closed at that time.

After the spraying of chemical laced water, the ground FRU fired many many rounds of tear gas into Jalan Melaka. There was one serious casualty and a lot of vomiting and cries of pain from Bersih supporters caught in the middle of the dispersing tear gas.

This young man was carried into Jalan Melaka by a group of Bersih supporters.  An ambulance came and took him away.  He was conscious at that time and could sit up already.

The chemicals in tear gas reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes, causing a burning sensation and the immediate forceful and uncontrollable shutting of the eyes.

Effects usually include tears streaming from the eyes, profuse coughing, exceptional nasal discharge that is full of mucus, burning in the eyes, eyelids, nose and throat areas, disorientation, dizziness and restricted breathing. .

Tear gas will also burn skin which is sweaty and or sunburned.

The bad effects can be somewhat relieved by washing with water or wiping with a wet towel.  Eating small quantities of salt also help.

Although tear gas is described as a non-lethal weapon for crowd control, many studies have raised doubts about this classification.  As well as creating severe pulmonary damage, tear gas  can also significantly damage the heart and liver.

The aftermath of a water canon and tear gas attack.