Visitors at Japan's Nanzenji temple hospitalized after inhaling acrid smell

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TOKYO, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Rescue officials were called to treat visitors at a temple in Kyoto Wednesday who were suffering from throat and eye irritations after complaining of an acrid smell, local media reported.

More than 20 visitors at the Nanzenji temple complained of health issues following an unusual chemical smell and some of them were rushed to hospital as a result, local police were quoted as saying.

The police said, however, that of those admitted to hospital, none are currently in a critical condition.

A representative from the Nanzenji temple -- Japan's most popular sightseeing spot for its classical Buddhist temples and "kaiseki" traditional cuisine -- made an emergency call to firefighters at around 11:30 a.m. local time, following the first wave of health complaints from visitors.

Around 12 people needed to receive emergency aid on the spot and visitors were quoted as saying that after inhaling the acrid smell, they felt their throats burning, causing them to cough and their eyes itching and watering.

Following the incident, the Nanzenji temple, which is more than 700 years old and has its rooms designated as a national treasure, was closed to the public on Wednesday. Enditem

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