Experts: Poisonous Gases A Threat To First Responders, Public

Friday, August 31st 2012, 2:11 pm
By: News 9

Bobbie Miller, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Extremely poisonous gases are now a new threat to not only first responders, but the public. Well-meaning citizens trying to help are now being warned of deadly exposure to these gases.

It's what the deadly mix of chemicals smells and looks like. A combination of just two to three breaths can cause immediate death.

Last month at an Edmond park, a 24-year-old woman was found dead inside a car filled with it.

"Well-meaning citizens opened the car and got the victim out. These chemicals are so toxic," said Rockie Yardley with the Edmond Police Department. "If you do CPR on these people, you're gonna become exposed and possibly die."

Hazmat teams at Edmond Police Department decontaminated the citizens and sent them to the doctor. But, even well after the woman died, the chemicals left on her body were toxic and deadly.

The State Medical Examiner's Office had just seen a nearly identical suicide.

"We did her exam in the building. We learned our ventilation systems on autopsy tables no longer work. The chemicals were in the building and we had several employees come down with a headache, and one with an asthma attack," said Amy Elliott with the Medical Examiner's Office.

The autopsy was done in the main morgue, permeating the entire building, sickening employees just 100 feet away.

Their second case was handled much differently. The body was kept in a mobile refrigerated truck. Her exam was done in the garage, far from office employees. And the National Guard came out to hang privacy tarps. Extreme precautions are now taken all the way around

Hazmat crews say if you come across a similar scene, back away and call 911. Don't take it into your own hands.

Also, never mix household cleaners at home. They could cause the same deadly effect.