Hazmat operation follows discovery of body in Pennsbury

Emergency workers spend 6 1/2 hours to safely vent toxic gas after man kills self in car

The Longwood Fire Company and Chester County Emergency Services HazMat team needed nearly six and half hours to safely vent toxic gas from a car on Hillendale Road, Monday.

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
PENNSBURY — A Kennett Square man apparently used household cleaners to create a toxic gas — in order to kill himself — leading to a complicated six-and-half hour process to recover his body and safely vent the gas from the vehicle he was driving on Hillendale Road, Monday.

The Chester County Department of Emergency Services HazMat Team as well as the Longwood Fire Company were called to the scene after a local resident discovered the man in his car — which had veered off the road and ended up in a field near the roadway. Reports suggest that the man placed signs in the car to warn off would-be rescuers.

State police did not identify the man, but reportedly the 30 year old combined household cleaning agents to create a toxic sulfide gas inside his car, which apparently killed him. Emergency workers on the scene had to take it slow — first attempting to determine what chemicals they were dealing with and then coming up with a plan to vent the toxic gas from the car.

Ultimately, emergency workers at the scene used a device provided by Longwood — normally used to clear smoke from fires — to vent the gas into the surrounding atmosphere (in smaller concentrations, the gas is merely an irritant and posed no risk to local residents because of the minimum volume contained in the car).

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