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Awase man commits suicide by inhaling hydrogen sulfide

Date Posted: 2008-07-17

The latest suicide craze, death by hydrogen sulfide inhalation, has hit Okinawa.

Okinawa City Police Monday received the frantic call from the Awase area, saying “My brother has fallen on the floor and his room has signs posted warning of hydrogen sulfide. The man was dead before police arrived, and the foul hydrogen sulfide odor was heavy.

Police evacuated the nearby neighborhood while them and fire fighters worked to neutralize the home. 34 people from twelve residences were moved to a community hall while the odor dissipated. Police say the family first noticed the brother missing when he didn’t come to dinner, searched for him and found his room locked. The family broke the door lock and discovered their relative on the floor.

Police say the man was wearing a plastic bag over his head. He’d posted a sign on the door warning ‘Hydrogen Sulfide. Please call police’. Officers immediately told neighbors to seek refuge in the community center, telling them to also keep their doors and windows closed.

Residents were frightened by the evacuation order, with some asking if a war had begun. Some neighborhood residents are still puzzled as to why the man would commit suicide, and many say they’re concerned about lingering effects of hydrogen sulfide.

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