1 Dead, 8 Sickened in Chemical Exposure at San Jose Fairmont

Officials say a woman died by possible suicide this morning following exposure to a toxic chemical at the Hotel Fairmont in downtown San Jose. Eight more people were transported to the hospital for breathing the yet-to-be-identified substance.

At a midday press conference, San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mitch Matlow told reporters that investigators were still trying to piece together a picture of what happened.

“We do know that there are liquids on the floor of the room and on the counter in the room," he said. “Again, we don’t know if those are mouth wash or if those are hazardous chemicals. Every single puddle is going to have to be tested.”

Firefighters described the chemical as having a “rotten egg” odor, which authorities said could indicate that it was hydrogen sulfide gas.

Officials told reporters that the hazmat case is being investigated as a suicide, and that there is no reason to believe it was terrorism-related.

According to SJFD, the incident took place around 10am and prompted them to evacuate the 18th, 19th and 20th floors of the hotel. The Mercury News  and KTVU reported that first-responders were seen treating a few people outside the hotel and hosing one off with a fire hose before rushing the person away on a gurney.

Public safety personnel also blocked off traffic from Market Street outside the hotel up through the afternoon as the investigated continued.

This article has been updated.

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