Updated: Berkeley Police and Fire Respond to Hazardous Materials Incident and Death at Berkeley City Club

By Bay City News and Planet
Tuesday March 18, 2014 - 08:38:00 PM

UPDATE: An article in the Daily Californian has identified the person who committed suicide in the Berkeley City Club as a retired U.C. Berkeley professor. 

The Berkeley City Club and the 2300 block of Durant have been re-opened after being closed because of a reported death.

Berkeley police and fire officials responded this afternoon to a reported hazardous materials incident involving a death at the Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant.

The possible hazardous materials incident was first reported shortly before 4 p.m., according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb.

The building was evacuated and the 2300 block of Durant was closed by 5:30 p.m., according to police Officer Ethell Wilson.

At 9 p.m. Berkeley Police Department Sgt.Joe Okies told the Planet that both the building and the street had been re-opened after BPD and BFD officers removed the suspected hazardous material.

Since it has not been determined whether the death was a suicide or a homicide, Okies said, further information is not being released at this time, including the name of the deceased person and the nature of the suspect material.

A report in the Oakland Tribune identified the decedent as an 80-year-old woman, and the hazardous chemical as sodium azide, which forms a highly toxic gas when mixed with water.