updated 4/28/2011 5:05:01 PM ET 2011-04-28T21:05:01

Authorities in Washington state says tear gas canisters improperly disposed in a trash bin caused fumes that sent seven people to a hospital with breathing problems.

Darrington District Fire Chief Dennis Fenstermaker said the canisters released a cloud of white smoke as they were emptied into a garbage truck and crushed Thursday.

Fenstermaker described them as law enforcement-type containers. Darrington has no police department, but has a sheriff's station, but Fenstermaker says he doesn't know if deputies are responsible.

Authorities say the truck driver and six people nearby suffered breathing problems, irritated eyes, a burning throat and tight chest.

Cascade Valley Hospital spokeswoman Penny Kelly says all have been released.

Darrington is about 56 miles northeast of Seattle.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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