Residents evacuated as marijuana cloud covers town from cops burning seized drug

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Bungling police trying to burn 1.6 tonnes of seized drug have forced residents to evacuate their homes after the air was filled with "tremendous smell of marijuana".

The authorities in Bello, suburb area of Medellín in Colombia, left the locals confused with actual fire when they noticed the city being engulfed by a huge cloud on Tuesday (July 12).

Video shared on social media shows the sky filled with a thick layer of "cloud" just above the woods before it slowly shifts towards a building.

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A woman said in the background: "No wonder that smell of marijuana is so strong…and me blaming the neighbours."

Resident Edilberto Castaño told Caracol TV: "We felt a very horrible smoke coming out of the battalion, a tremendous smell of marijuana that stopped everyone."

Some locals confused it with bush fire but the Mayor's Office swiftly clarified that the rising vapour was "not a fire".

One viewer said: "Several apartment towers had to be evacuated because of this little joke."

The clip was confirmed by the Antioquia department of the municipality, which local media reported several residents ended up "getting stoned" due to an intense smoke caused by the incineration of marijuana in a drug seize operation.

They wrote on Twitter: "The Metropolitan Police and the Army, accompanied by the Bello Firefighters, the prosecutor's office, the Personería de Bello are in the Pedro Nel Ospina battalion in a controlled burning of narcotic material seized last week."

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The Metropolitan Police released a statement and explained the seized 1,678 kg of marijuana in El Mirador of Bello "were going to be dosed, distributed and sold in the neighbourhood's squares".

Police also released a footage of officers unwrapping the tonnes of marijuana parcels, as well as surveillance footage before the drug heist.

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