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6 Japanese suicides with homemade gas

At least six people kill themselves in separate suicides, using the same method of mixing cleaning liquid and bath salts, which creates poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Tokyo
UPDATED ON APR 14, 2008 11:45 AM IST

At least six people killed themselves in Japan over the weekend in separate suicides that all used the same method of mixing cleaning liquid and bath salts, police said on Monday.

Japan, which has one of the developed world's highest suicide rates, has seen a growing number of people killing themselves with the same method, which creates poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas.

They are believed to have learned the method on the Internet.

In western Okayama prefecture, a 19-year-old man died on Sunday in his bathroom after attaching a note on the door, which said, "Generating gas. Don't open," police said.

"Rescuers reported a nasty smell like rotten egg. We believe it was a suicide using hydrogen sulfide gas," a local police officer said.

An 18-year-old woman also killed herself on Sunday using the same method.

On Saturday at least four people killed themselves by generating the gas, including a 26-year-old man who posted a note outside his bathroom saying, "Generating poisonous gas." Nine neighbours went to hospital briefly.

In recent years Japan has witnessed a growing number of suicide pacts among strangers who meet on the Internet and then go to scenic areas where they kill themselves through carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Reports of suicides using the new method of generating hydrogen sulfide gas at home have been rapidly increasing, including at least five cases during the week to last Thursday," emergency services said.

More than 30,000 people kill themselves every year in Japan.

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