Chemical Suicide Prompts Road Closure; Evacuations
KSAL Staff - Thu 03:51 PM 05/24/2012
A Thursday morning death that appears to be a chemical suicide prompted Salina Police to close a portion of Markley Road for several hours, and evacuate several homes.
Police and fire units were called at around 8:45 to a home on Brookfield, in a new addition just off Markley Road.
Authorities say that a potentially suicidal man had locked himself in a room and was refusing to come out.
Police and EMS responded, and blocked off the area because of a possible toxic mixture of chemicals inside the home.
Police say they closed off Markley Road and the adjoining housing area. An armed hazardous material team then made entry and found the male deceased.
After venting the area of poisonous gas, the area was reopened to traffic.
The death is being investigated as a possible Hydrogen Sulfide suicide. The poisonous gas can be produced by mixing certain household ingredients. It is toxic, and flammable.
Hydrogen Sulfide was used in a suicide wave in 2008 in Japan. The phenomenon has occurred in a number of US cities since then.
Hydrogen Sulfide has prompted warnings in the emergency services field. First responders arriving at the site of the suicide are at risk of death from inhaling lethal quantities of the gas, or by fire.
The Saline County Coroner has ordered an autopsy.