Union County Hazmat Decontaminating Suicide Attempt

Incident at 724 South Avenue closes street.

UPDATED 12:11 p.m.:

Shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, Union County Hazard Materials officials began working at 724 South Ave. in Westfield to decontaminate the victim of an attempted suicide, according to a spokesperson from the Union County Division of Emergency Management.

The victim, whose suicide attempt involved chemicals, was pulled from the house and is being decontaminated by a Union County Hazmat crew.

Westfield police say that the victim is still alive and has been transported to a local hospital.

South Avenue between Downer and Cumberland Streets was blocked this morning but were expected to be cleared shortly after noon.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Steve August 10, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I don't think so. It's news.
Mary Mann August 10, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Just a note to the public: It is Patch's policy NOT to cover suicides UNLESS they take place in public or create a public impact. In this case, the attempt has created the blockage of a public street and a hazmat situation.
Jay August 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The part about HazMat responding to a decomtamination incident involving unidentified chemicals, and that there would be a road closure at a certain location involved public concerns which made those particular details 'news." The fact that the cause of the chemical escape was an attempted suicide was absolutely IRRELEVANT to any public concern and publishing that exceeding private fact was a serious breach of journalistic ethics. It was pure gossip. PATCH needs to decide whether it is a local news outlet . . . or just a local gossip tabloid. Common decency dictates that Patch should make it up to the family of the victim (and suicides are 'victims' even if only of themselves) by immediately deleting all refereces to the suicide from is current, future AND already posted articals on this topic. (This is an wholly electonic format, its not that tough to modify its page.) If Patch does not do so, it will be a sign to me that its new editor has made a conscious choice to lead this publication into tabloid-dom. Shame on you, Ms. Alterman.
Pops Ferguson August 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Jay, all local news media report suicide attempts. The Patch is hardly Reuters. Of more concern to me is what the hazard materials were and whether there is any lasting effects from them.
barbara August 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I agree with Jay. You can cover the hazmat and street closure perfectly well without the supposed suicide attempt. They are the things that pertain to public safety. The other is personal. And unless there is an official police report as to an attempted suicide it's only hearsay anyway. A classy news organization knows the difference between appropriate reporting and nosy gossip. A good rule of thumb for the editor: if you wouldn't want something private (and non-criminal) reported about your own family, don't report it about someone else's.
Richard August 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Committing suicide or attempting suicide is against the law. It is illegal. Illegal activities of ANY kind is news and the public's right to know. It is not private.
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.


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