A man in his mid-30s committed “chemical suicide” in a parking lot on Mitchell Boulevard near Carleton Davidson Stadium on Monday afternoon.
The man’s identity has not yet been released by local law enforcement officials.
Chemical suicide originated in Japan and has migrated its way to the United States, according to Springfield fire officials. The recipe can be found on the Internet and makes a toxic cloud in a small area, like a car or bathroom.
It’s believed to be the first chemical suicide in either Clark or Montgomery counties, according to fire officials.
“It’s becoming a more popular way for young people to kill themselves,” said Lt. Dave Aills of the Springfield Fire Rescue Division. “Unfortunately, it’s made it’s way to Clark County, and we’re going to be seeing it more often.”
The Fire Rescue Division received a call from police officers about a man slumped over the steering wheel in a vehicle near Hetico Insurance, 1027 Mitchell Blvd. The man worked in an office in the area, fire officials said.
About 11:40 a.m., officers found the vehicle with a note on it that explained there were hazardous chemicals inside, officials said.
The trend is for people to leave notes telling first responders of hazardous materials, Aills said.
“The note said, ‘Danger, Poison, Do Not Open’ and identified the substance as hydrogen sulfide,” Aills said.
The Clark County Emergency Management Agency, the Clark County Coroner’s Office and a hazardous materials response team were called to the scene.
Firefighters used the wind to allow the gas to dissipate before allowing police officers and coroner’s investigators access to the scene to investigate the death.
First responders had blocked off the area because of concern of a potential “chemical cloud.”
A worker in a business inside the area that was cordoned off said that officers told employees to stay in the building and turn off their heating unit so that no outside air came into the building, but employees were not evacuated.
The road was closed off between Cedarview Drive and Miracle Mile for approximately two hours to avoid incidental contact, officials said.