HMN-Authorities are saying 2 individuals used a “suicide gas formula” to kill themselves in a Fresno hotel room. Fresnobee reports that a maintenance man reported toxic fumes coming from the room before the discovery.
Hazmat situation at Motel 6 in Fresno kills two, says Police Chief Jerry Dyer
A man and a woman committed suicide at a motel on North Blackstone and East Ashlan avenues in early May using a method that is widely circulated on the Internet and poses a threat to first responders and others, the Fresno County Coroner reported Monday.
The deaths were reported May 4 at the motel in the 4000 block of North Blackstone, where the bodies of the two were found by a maintenance worker, who reported “toxic fumes,” coming from their room.
The bodies of the two were found wearing respirator masks and there was some sort of chemical-making process inside the room, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer reported at the scene. The Fresno Fire Hazmat team was called to the motel and and six people, including maintenance workers, were treated at a hospital in connection with the fumes.
Fresno County Coroner spokesman Tony Botti said the dangers of such fumes have prompted a nationwide warning to police and firefighters who might encounter a similar situation, either in a car or a building. Responders are warned to evaluate the scene before rushing in, put on protective gear and call for additional resources.
The man and woman used hydrogen sulfide, a gas that smells like rotten eggs, to kill themselves, the coroner ruled. Also called detergent suicide, hydrogen sulfide suicide was first reported in the United States in Pasadena in 2008, and has been reported in Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Connecticut, Idaho and Utah.
Victims retrieve the recipe off the Internet, combining a toilet bowl cleaner and a pesticide to create a gas that causes respirator paralysis and death in less than six minutes, according to the Regional Organized Crime Information Center.
The use of the gas poses a risk to nearby residents as well as first responders, since the gas is heavier than air and travels along the ground, where it can collect in poorly ventilated areas and basements.
Because the deaths were ruled suicides, the names of the deceased were not released.