Poisonous chemicals kill one in apparent suicide, injure nine at Fairmont Hotel in San Jose

Image 1 of 14

One person is dead and nine others injured and transported to nearby hospitals following a hazmat incident at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Of those nine, one person is in life-threatening condition and the remaining eight are considered to be non life-threatening condition.

The San Jose Fire Department says the incident began around 10 a.m. Saturday when hotel staff called 9-1-1 to report an apparent suicide involving chemicals, according to San Jose Fire Dept. Captain Mitch Matlow.

At a media briefing early Sunday evening, Matlow indicated that the chemicals involved in the incident were identified, however could not reveal what those chemicals were due to an investigation by the San Jose Police Department.

Four floors of the Fairmont Hotel were evacuated for much of the day. Guests will be allowed to return to their rooms on the 17th, 18th, and 20th floors later this evening. Meanwhile, the 19th floor will remain closed to the public for decontamination by a private third-party company. 

Earlier in the afternoon, Matlow indicated that 79 occupied rooms had been evacuated with over 120 guests.

Matlow also clarified that of the nine injured, two were hotel guests and the remaining seven were hotel staff.

A chemical odor, described as a rotten egg smell, would remain detectable by guests. "The chemicals that caused the problem will not create an issue for guests when they first smell it," said Matlow. 

As a result of the investigation, Market Street is closed to vehicles and pedestrians. 

The San Jose Police Department is leading the investigation into the death. The deceased is an adult female, and officials haven't announced if they believe she was a hotel guest or an employee of the hotel.

In a statement to KTVU, Fairmont Hotel Spokesperson Michelle Heston said in part "safety is our top priority and top concern."

KTVU has not heard back from San Jose Police Department.