Chemical Suicide Injures 9 Others
An apparent chemical suicide at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California, at the weekend, turned in to a full Hazmat situation when other guests in the hotel began to show symptoms of exposure.
A woman was discovered deceased in her room by hotel staff, who called the emergency services due to the smell of noxious chemicals emanating from the room. As first responders headed to the hotel, police dispatchers informed them that a note was found in the room that read “I committed suicide by poisonous gas. One smell and you’ll die.” It was not clear if those words were a threat or a warning for those who discovered the body.
According to the San Jose Fire Department, nine people were decontaminated at the scene including seven staff and two hotel guests, they were also treated at the scene and taken to hospital for treatment, after showing symptoms of light-headedness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Thankfully none of the injuries suffered are believed to be life-threatening.
San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mitch Matlow said “We have identified the chemicals and turned that information over to the police and they’ve asked us not to release any more information,’’ adding that any health issues experienced by the nine people transferred to a local hospital by ambulance “appeared to be minor.’’ Asked whether the woman’s death was an ‘’apparent suicide’’ or not, Matlow said “we don’t know at this point whether it was a suicide or not, but it was a death by a mixture of chemicals.’’
“More than 100” emergency workers responded to the incident, including San Jose firefighters, police officers, county firefighters, and county emergency medical services personnel, Matlow estimated.
People inside the building reported that the chemical smelled like rotten eggs, indicating it may have been hydrogen sulfide gas, Matlow said. As yet the exact nature of the chemical has not been officially released.