Cyanide Suicide in Fla. Prompts Hazmat Response


A Lake Worth condominium complex was evacuated Friday morning because of a chemical scare.

Palm Beach County firefighters were called to a suicide situation at the Via Poinciana complex. Hazardous materials crews and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office bomb squad soon arrived and evacuated residents from the building.

"I opened the door to get my newspapers and I see all these trucks and she's waving at me, so I came down," resident Edith Frank told WPBF 25 News.

Firefighters said they believe a man drank a fatal concoction of what is believed to be a cyanide solution.

"There is a white powder on the table in the room, so they are not disturbing that," Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Steve Delai said.

Hazmat crews tested the complex and found no airborne exposure.

Delai said there was some indication that the man was a jeweler. Delai said cyanide is commonly used in the jewelry business.

Three sheriff's deputies who first went inside the man's condo were wearing masks, but they were taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution. Firefighters were spraying each other down with water after leaving the condo.

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