News

Two found dead in possible gas leak in Mountain View

'Noxious' fumes trigger evacuations on California Street Wednesday evening

What started out as an investigation into the source of a possible gas leak took a dark turn, as two bodies were found in an apartment on California Street Wednesday evening.

Police could not immediately release any details about the two victims who were found by a hazardous materials team searching a building that was evacuated following a call at 6:09 p.m. on Sept. 24 reporting a noxious smell.

Four Mountain View police officers investigating the possible hazardous materials incident at 2025 California St. were sickened by a strong, noxious odor, said Shino Tanaka, spokeswoman for the police department. Residents of one adjacent building, at 2017 California St., were evacuated, due to the direction the wind was carrying the fumes, and residents of another nearby building at 2035 California St. were advised to shelter in place until the fumes dissipated, Tanaka said.

"It smells like a rotten egg," Mountain View fire spokesman Lynn Brown said.

Pacific Gas & Electric crews shut off gas lines in the area, but there was no immediate indication of what might have caused a gas leak, Tanaka said. The cause is under investigation by police.

"The indication is that it was gas. Once it was shut off, it did clear, and (the fumes) didn't strengthen," she said.

Tanaka said there was no exact count of the number of apartments affected, but that approximately 30 to 40 evacuees had gathered in the community center at 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. where the American Red Cross was offering assistance.

The four police officers sickened from the fumes reported feeling lightheaded, Tanaka said. They were treated and released.

Residents were allowed back into their buildings around 8 a.m. Thursday morning. The affected portion of California Street was still filled with emergency vehicles and closed to traffic Wednesday night.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by susan
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

Condolences on the loss of life. I live nearby and watched the helicopter hover for a long time. The pilot did a great job of staying steady above the scene in the gusty winds. Glad nobody else was injured.


1 person likes this
Posted by Needing more facts
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

I read in another newspaper that a possible suicide note was left on the front door. If that is true, then it was not an accidental gas leak, but an intentional action. Correct?


Like this comment
Posted by lindak
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

I heard the helicopters overhead yesterday evening then learned this morning of an acquaintance who had lost his life. I wonder if the incidents are related. I am saddened and extend my condolences to their family and friends.


2 people like this
Posted by businessdecision
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Thoughtful comments from good people in this wonderful community.


Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown

on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown

on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm


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Posted by Sad
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Very sad story. Lucky the we're not any mor injuries


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