12:44 GMT +312 December 2018
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    Update: Gas poisoning in St. Petersburg not a terrorist attack - governor

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    ST. PETERSBURG, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - All the people affected by the gas, now identified as mercaptan, dispersed in trade centers in St. Petersburg have received medical aid and have been released from hospitals, St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said Monday, emphasizing that the incident was not a terrorist attack.

    "All the people who asked for medical assistance after being affected by the unknown substance dispersed in several trade centers in St. Petersburg were given medical aid and sent home," Matviyenko said.

    She said experts were still trying to identify the gas, but could confirm that the incident was not an act of terrorism.

    Devices containing capsules with an unidentified gas were planted in three Maxidom trade centers and went off in two of them.

    About 80 people, including several policemen, asked for medical assistance.

    The local interior affairs department blamed hooliganism or the market's competition for the incident.

    "Competition is the most probable version of the incidents," the department said, noting that Maxidom's management had been recently receiving letters with threats.

    The department said the gas, mercaptan, was used in civil defense and could cause no serious damage to people's health.

    A criminal case was open on under charges of hooliganism.

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