Chemical fumes on man send Mass. police officers to hospital
Dartmouth officers were overcome by a combination of hydrochloride, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide
By Ryan Mancini
DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Three Dartmouth police officers were hospitalized Wednesday after they were exposed to what the department called “toxic chemical fumes” while responding to an incident.
On Wednesday at around 9:20 a.m., police visited the home of a man on Matthew Street, the department said in a statement. The man was said to be “emotionally disturbed and was in crisis,” Public Information Officer Kyle Costa told MassLive.
Three Dartmouth officers assisted the man and were then “overcome by a strong chemical smell which was produced by a combination (of) several substances” that the man mixed together in his home, police said. The officers backed away but started experiencing dizziness, sore throats, irritated eyes and noses and headaches.
The officers were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, where they were treated and released for exposure, police said. The resident was also taken to St. Luke’s and was still being treated Wednesday afternoon.Dartmouth firefighters and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Hazmat team also responded due to the presence of noxious chemicals, the department added. During the investigation, fire personnel found several chemicals inside the home, all of which were deemed legal.
While the hazmat team has not verified the chemicals at the man’s home, preliminary findings indicate the fumes came from a combination of hydrochloride, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide, Costa said.
“Though this incident didn’t involve a traditional weapon, such as a gun or knife, it is a shining example of one of the many dangers that my officers face on a daily basis,” Dartmouth Police Chief Brian Levesque said in the statement. “I’m extremely pleased that this incident didn’t end tragically and that my officers were able to return home to their families healthy and unharmed.”
The ongoing investigation is being led by the Dartmouth Fire Department. Due to the nature of the incident, Costa said the police department will not pursue charges.