Historic hotel evacuated after chemical release

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Updated: 3/18/2014 10:50 pm

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A historic San Francisco Bay Area hotel and social club was evacuated Tuesday a resident used a toxic chemical to commit suicide inside her room.

Police spokesman Ethell Wilson said an 80-year-old woman used sodium azide to kill herself Tuesday in her apartment on the third floor of the landmark Berkeley City Club.

The woman left a note outside her apartment warning authorities of the dangerous situation, and hazardous materials crews and bomb squad technicians responded just before 2 p.m.

The other residents and guests of the building were evacuated, but there were no reports of injuries, Wilson said.

The Oakland Tribune reports that police closed Durant Avenue between Telegraph and Shattuck Avenues in Berkeley while investigators worked.

It was not immediately known if the toxic substance has contaminated the whole building, the paper reported.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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