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Minnesota authorities see first case of chemical suicide

Authorities in eastern Minnesota say first responders are dealing with a new and dangerous phenomenon -- chemical suicide.

Washington County Sheriff's Cmdr. Brian Mueller says his department dealt with its first case over the weekend. A person had committed suicide by mixing household chemicals in a bucket, creating a deadly gas. The body of a man from Prescott, Wis., was found in a car in Point Douglas Park.

Mueller says when first responders arrived they detected a faint smell of chemicals and called St. Paul hazardous materials squad. He says more training is needed for first responders because they "may not know what they're walking into when they open the car door."

Mueller tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the haz-mat squad has dealt with similar incidents in the Twin Cities metro area.

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