Glen Burnie Hazardous Materials Fatality Ruled Suicide
GLEN BURNIE, MD. (Sept. 3, 2014) — The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has ruled that the fatality in Tuesday’s Hazardous Materials Incident in Glen Burnie was as a result of suicide.
Just after 4:00 p.m. on September 2nd, units from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department were dispatched to an odor of gas in an apartment building at the Burwood Garden Apartments, located in the 6600 block of Shelly Road in Glen Burnie. The first arriving unit on the scene immediately recognized that the odor was not natural gas but was a sulfur smell.
In the course of investigating the odor, the crews forced entry into a first floor apartment to conduct a search for occupants and a source of the odor. They made access to the rear of the apartment, locating a bathroom where they observed a hand written sign on the door stating “Danger! Requires hazamat [sic] suit!!” The crews made entry into the bathroom and removed a 30 year old male from the bathroom to hallway. Upon assessment, the patient was determined to be deceased. The crew exited the apartment and requested the response of the Hazardous Materials Team while completing the evacuation of the apartment building.
The Hazardous Materials Team arrived and found lethal levels of Hydrogen Cyanide and Hydrogen Sulfide gas in the bathroom and apartment of origin and dangerous readings in other areas of the building. The team mitigated the hazard in the bathroom and began ventilating the building. Upon further investigation in the apartment, the Haz-Mat Team determined that the fumes were caused by the purposeful mixing of common household cleaners. After several hours of ventilation the readings had not reached safe levels and it was determined the building could not be reoccupied at that time.
Approximately 20 residents were displaced overnight and assisted with accommodations by the property management company. The Hazardous Materials Team returned this morning at approximately 9:00 a.m. and did not detect any remaining hazards.
As a result of this incident, two patients were transported from the scene. A male resident from a third floor apartment was transported to Harbor Hospital with respiratory distress. He stated that he had smelled the sulfur odor for approximately 45 minutes prior to being evacuated from the building. A female patient was transported to Harbor Hospital with high blood pressure possibly not related to the incident.
The deceased has been identified as Matthew Ross Eitel of Glen Burnie. The cause of death has been determined by OCME to be suicide by Hydrogen Sulfide poisoning.