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Toxic fumes suicide forces evacuation in Japan

  • Story Highlights
  • Japanese police evacuate residents after escape of poisonous toxic fumes
  • Incident came after man killed himself by inhaling a detergent-laced gas
  • Local media: 180-plus people have killed themselves like this since late March
  • Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world
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TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Police evacuated dozens of residents after poisonous fumes escaped from an apartment where a man killed himself by inhaling a detergent-laced gas, authorities said Wednesday.

The death in the city of Kanazawa, northeast of Tokyo, is the latest in a spate of suicides where people have mixed detergent and other chemicals and inhaled the resulting toxic hydrogen sulfide gas.

According to local media reports, more than 180 people across Japan have committed suicide in such a manner since late March -- an average of more than two a day.

The instructions are easily available online, and officials have asked Internet service providers to take down the recipe for the deadly mix.

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In the latest case on Wednesday, officers found a man in his 20s in the bathroom of his apartment surrounded by bottles of detergent and other chemicals, said a Kanazawa police officer.

The man had posted a note outside his front door that warned residents that gas was being generated inside, the officer said.

Police evacuated 34 residents for two hours. One woman, complaining of sickness, was taken to a hospital.

Even before the spate of recent death, Japan had one of the highest rates of suicide in the world.

CNN's Junko Ogura contributed to this report

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