- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

One person is dead and another hospitalized in a deadly chemical leak that brought out the HazMat suits and caused hundreds to evacuate an apartment complex just a few blocks from Austin campus of the University of Texas.

Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck told Austin TV station KXAN that the chemical in the dead man’s apartment, according to initial readings, was hydrogen sulfide.

The call to firefighters concerned 21 Pearl Apartments, at 21st and Pearl streets in the prestigious student-dominated West Campus neighborhood.

“Crews quickly started ventilation and going door-to-door to make sure everyone was okay,” Division Chief Buck said.

The dead man appeared to be in his 20s and likely was a UT student, given his profile and the neighborhood, but that wasn’t immediately confirmed by UT or city authorities.



The apartment’s property manager was taken to hospital and is in stable condition, KXAN reported. Five other people were treated at the scene.

Austin-Travis County EMS Division Chief Eric Jakubauskas told KXAN that while the cause of the chemical leak is still being investigated, the involvement of hydrogen sulfide, which gives off the very recognizable odor of rotten eggs, points toward suicide.

“This is not an uncommon method of chemical suicide,” he said. “You can search on the internet to see some of the different ways this is done.”

 

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