A young couple were found dead yesterday following a bizarre ‘chemical suicide pact’ when their car was filled with toxic fumes from a lethal cocktail of bath salts and household detergent.
Fire crews wearing specialist chemical protective clothing were called to a car park on an industrial estate in Braintree, Essex, at 8:25am yesterday.
A stunned warehouse worker raised the alarm after finding an apparent suicide note pasted to the car’s window warning the vehicle was filled with hydrogen sulphide.
The bodies of a young man and woman, believed to be in their 20s or 30s, were found inside the car and fire crews cordoned off the car park.
It is believed that the deaths are one of the first ‘chemical suicides’ to occur in Britain.
The craze, which is sweeping Japan and USA, involves mixing bath salts and detergent to create deadly hydrogen sulphide gas.
A source close to the scene said: ”It is believed this is a ‘chemical suicide’ which is a growing trend around the world but could be the first in the UK.
”There was a warning note on the window of the car telling people not to open the door. It warned the emergency services there were hazardous fumes inside so they knew what to deal with.”
Joy Hale, spokesman for East England Ambulance, confirmed today that paramedics from the Hazardous Response Team are at the scene.
The bodies of two people were found in the car but have not yet been officially declared dead, Miss Hale added.
She said: ”We have resources down there including the Hazardous Response Team trying to make the area safe because it is a public area and people are trying to get to work.
”We are aware of two people in the van and we are working with all emergency services.”
A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: ”A chemical zone has been put in place while we work out what we are dealing with.”
A spokesman for Essex Police today described the operation as ”an ongoing situation”.
She said: ”A car with two bodies has been found in a a car park on an industrial site.
”All emergency procedures have been put in place because we believe the car may contain some form of noxious substance.
”Until we get into the car and find out exactly what we’ve got it’s difficult to speculate what has happened.
”We’ve evacuated the vicinity as a safety precaution until we know what we are dealing with.”