Woman Commits "Toxic Chemical" Suicide at Berkeley City Club

By Associated Press
|  Thursday, Mar 20, 2014  |  Updated 11:05 AM PDT
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Woman Commits "Toxic Chemical" Suicide in Berkeley

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A historic San Francisco Bay Area hotel and social club was evacuated after a woman used a toxic chemical to commit suicide in her room.
 
Police spokesman Ethell Wilson says the woman used sodium azide to kill herself Tuesday in her apartment on the third floor of the landmark Berkeley City Club.

The woman, a former UC Berkeley professor, killed herself on her 71st birthday, according to Berkeleyside.
 
The Oakland Tribune reports that the woman left a note warning authorities of the dangerous situation, and hazardous materials crews and bomb squad technicians responded just before 2 p.m.
 
Other residents and guests were evacuated, but Wilson says there are no reports of injuries.
 
A person who answered the phone at the hotel hung up when a reporter called for comment.
 
Sodium azide is commonly found in cars' air bags to make them inflate. It becomes a toxic gas when mixed with water.
 
A message left with a Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman on Tuesday evening was not immediately returned.

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