Possible helium death not exactly a gas

helium tanks.jpg

What the hell's going on with Boulder and bizarre suicides? Last month, the Boulder Outlook Hotel was evacuated due to the possibility of strange chemicals in the room of a man who killed himself; turns out the fumes in question were traced to charcoal in a small grill. Then, yesterday, residents of a Boulder neighborhood were asked to skedaddle after a dead man was found near what were originally thought to be propane tanks. In truth, the receptacles contained helium, which may or may not have been a factor in the man's demise. To kill himself using helium, as opposed to merely getting light-headed and giddy, would have taken a lot of effort, adding a new chapter in the annals of inflation.

Click "Continue" to read the Boulder Police Department release on the incident:

Police, coroner investigating death involving helium

Boulder police and the Boulder County Coroner's Office are investigating the death of a 53-year-old man, who was found inside his home in the 1600 block of Zamia Avenue at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14. The deceased male was discovered by a friend, who became concerned about his welfare and went to check on him.

The Boulder Fire Department initially treated the situation as a hazardous materials call based on information that someone had found what appeared to be propane tanks near the body. Propane can be highly explosive. As a result, fire crews and police evacuated nearby residences and closed streets as a safety precaution.

Further investigation revealed that the gas was, in fact, helium, which does not pose the same dangers as propane. At that point, residents were allowed to return to their homes. The roads were re-opened a short while later.

At this time, the death appears to be a suicide, but officials with the coroner's office will be responsible for determining official cause and manner of death once they have completed an autopsy and other testing. The man's identity is being withheld pending notification of his family members.

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