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Berkeley City Club evacuated after chemical suicide

A popular San Francisco hotel and nightclub has been evacuated after a resident committed suicide. The story was reported by the Oakland Tribune on March 18th. Fortunately, it appears that the dangerous chemical used in the suicide did not contaminate any other areas of the building.

The victim was identified as Ethel Wilson. She was an 80 year old resident of the area, and took care to warn first responders about the dangerous chemical she used. This was done in the form of a note attached to the door of her room at the Berkeley City Club.

Sodium azide was Wilson’s preferred method of suicide. This chemical is widely used in airbags. When mixed with water, sodium azide rapidly creates a highly toxic gas. While authorities have not released a statement regarding how the woman come to possess the chemical, it seems clear that the suicide and chemical scare will reignite calls for mental health reform.