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Amherst deals with hazardous materials cleanup following unattended death

An unattended death in a vehicle in the Station Road parking lot of the Norwottuck Rail Trail last week led to a regional hazardous materials response.

Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson said he was notified about the need to activate the hazmat team at 3:45 a.m. on Feb. 19.

“There was a hazmat component,” Nelson said. “We had to go out and make it safe for police to do their investigation.”

Amherst firefighters and other agencies, including the Department of Fire Services Hazardous Materials Response unit, were on the scene until close to noon, while police officers closed the lightly traveled road for the duration of the incident.

Nelson said the work done by first responders was similar to that done when a suicide occurred at Rolling Green at Amherst in November 2010. In that case the victim was asphyxiated by hydrogen sulfide.

“It was the same exact response. The protocol is set up for something like this,” Nelson said.

No further information was available about the incident.

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