Student's Chemical Suicide Injures 11

Lethal gas was 'intentionally created,' says official
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2016 9:12 AM CDT
Emergency responders stand outside of an apartment complex Wednesday in Austin, Texas.   (Gabriel Lopez /The Daily Texan via AP)
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(Newser) – A male student was found dead of an apparent "chemical suicide" in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday that injured 11 others, police say. Residents reported a foul smell at the 21 Pearl apartment complex near the University of Texas around 2pm, which management officials traced to a specific apartment with a "Keep Out" sign on the door. Inside a closet bearing a sign reading, "Danger: Watch out, hydrogen sulfide," they found a man in his 20s suffering from cardiac arrest, per KXAN. By the time authorities arrived in hazmat gear, he couldn't be revived and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Eleven people were treated for exposure at the scene, including six who were later taken to a hospital, an official tells the New York Times. The complex's property manager was among them. Officials believe the so-called "sewer gas," known for its rotten egg odor, was "intentionally created." Hydrogen sulfide "can be, at high enough levels, a lethal gas," an officer tells the New York Daily News. "This is not an uncommon method of chemical suicide." A rep for the building's management says the man is a student, though it's not clear if he attended UT. (The community was just rocked by a student's murder on campus.)

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