Iconic Hotel Evacuated After Woman Commits Suicide By Toxic Chemical

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

San Francisco’s Berkeley City Club was evacuated Tuesday after an elderly woman used a toxic chemical to commit suicide.

Hazardous materials crews and a bomb squad responded to a call at the six-story hotel before 2 p.m., according to police spokesperson Officer Ethell Wilson.

A woman in her eighties, who was not named, committed suicide in her third floor room by mixing sodium azide with water to make hydroazoic acid, which is deadly if inhaled.

Authorities shut down traffic on Durant Avenue from Telegraph to Shattuck while crews investigated. It was initially unclear whether the toxic gas had contaminated the entire building.

"The known quantity of what appeared to be a hazardous material has been removed," Sgt. Okies BPD Sergeant Joe Okies told San Jose Mercury News.

No one else was injured in the incident.

Sources: Inside Bay Area, San Jose Mercury News