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Authorities identify chemical in fatal Arizona hazmat case

September 5, 2021 GMT

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The chemical that apparently led to the deaths of two employees of a commercial truck wash in Avondale has been identified, according to police.

They said the two men died Aug. 29 after being exposed to a residual chemical substance known as sodium hydrosulfide, which can be deadly in high quantities.

The men were caught inside the tanker vault of a semi-truck while it was in the cleaning bay.

Police said the men were assigned to clean the inside of the tanker truck.

One man went inside the tank, then collapsed and became unconscious shortly afterward.

The second man went inside the tank to assist and became unconscious as well.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Their names haven’t been released yet.

Police said fire crews extricated the bodies of the two men out of the vault while wearing full protective gear.

Four firefighters suffered heat-related injuries and were transported to hospitals for treatment.

Avondale is about 19 miles (30 kilometers) west of Phoenix.