'Chemical Suicide Pact' in Putney Flat

Forensic specialists investigate the property

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Ambulances have returned to Pentlow Street which remains cordoned off after yesterday's double suicide in a flat in Norman Court. A Forensic blue tent can be seen out side of teh property (behind Police van in the picture below)

We understand that they are on standby in case any officers encountered problems in dealing with the scene. There is no suggestion that further bodies may have been discovered in the flat.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene on Thursday wore protective clothing amid speculation they were dealing with a chemical incident. The bodies of two young women - thought to be in their 20's were found in the second floor flat yesterday morning. Today, the flat is completely sealed off and police tape at the scene warned of a "health hazard" although the remaining risk to local residents is not believed to be significant.

Leaflets dated September 8th have been distributed to London Ambulance Service staff informing them of chemical suicide cases. It states the method originated in Japan and victims "have often sought information on how to do this from the internet". The leaflet advises paramedics on the signs of such an incident and gives instructions on how to manage the situation.

Police were called at 10:42am on Thursday to the flat in Norman Court, off the Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15.

The bodies of two women were found at the scene. At this early stage it is believed they died of chemical poisoning. Their identities are as yet unknown although it is believed the resident of the flat was of Somali origin.

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue, and Police remain at the scene. Forensic specialists were working at the site this morning and two ambulancse are in attendance. This afternoon we have been advised by a spokeman for the Police that:
Officers are satisfied there is no risk to the public, but are adopting a precautionary approach inside the address."

Comparisons are being made with the double suicide pact last week when Stephen Lumb & Joanne Lee arranged a pact online and then died together in a car filled with a gas used in the First World War. It was said to be Britain’s first “chemical” suicide, and police fear the latest tragedy is a copycat case.

October 1, 2010