Death by chemistry

This is very unusual. This morning, on a quiet street in northern Toronto, a woman died by inhaling chemical fumes. Police believe that she committed suicide, apparently by creating hydrogen sulfide from household chemicals. The resulting fumes caused the evacuation of her neighbourhood and a secondary school. Hydrogen sulfide produces a smell of rotten eggs, but it quickly numbs the sense of smell, which makes it all the more dangerous. A high concentration can suffocate and kill.

Fire fighters were called, I presume, because of the rotten egg smell, and quickly evacuated buildings within 100 metres. That included Earl Haig Secondary School, where people were playing recreational basketball in the gym. The evacuation occurred around 10:30 a.m. and residents were out of their homes for about four hours.

One resident within the limit slept through the whole thing, but luckily he was far enough away not to be injured.

Nine fire trucks responded and eleven police cars brought members of the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear response team.

No reason was given.

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