08/03/2011

Responders among 6 treated after chemical death in Colo.


By Maria St. Louis-Sanchez
The Gazette

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A hazardous materials team was on the scene at a north Colorado Springs apartment complex where a body was discovered Monday afternoon.

Six people at the scene — a paramedic, two ambulance workers, a police officers and two people from the apartment complex — were sent to a hospital as a precautionary measure after possible exposure to cyanide.

The presence of the chemical also slowed the police investigation into how the person died because detective must wear hazardous material suits to enter the unit.

The chemical was found in a bottle that indicated it was sodium cyancide, and the team on scene treated it as such, according to Colorado Springs Fire Department spokeswoman Sunny Smaldino.

As of Tuesday morning, Smaldino said that the chemical had yet to be officially identified as cyanide.

No other apartments were evacuated.

Police are calling it a "suspicious death" but no other details have been released.

The body was found about 3:45 p.m. Monday in the Fillmore Ridge Apartments near Fillmore and Chestnut streets.

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