Volume 43, Issue 4 (July 1998)
A Fatal Case of Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning in a Geothermal Power Plant
An adult man entered an oil separator room to remove waste oil from a vacuum pump in a geothermal power plant. He suddenly collapsed and died soon after. Since hydrogen sulfide gas was detected in the atmosphere at the scene of the accident, poisoning by this gas was suspected and toxicological analysis of sulfide and thiosulfate in blood, brain, lung, femoral muscle was made using the extractive alkylation technique combined with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The concentrations of sulfide in these tissues were similar to those previously reported for fatal cases of hydrogen sulfide gas. The concentration of thiosulfate in the blood was at least 48 times higher than the level in control samples. Based on these results, the cause of death was attributed to hydrogen sulfide gas poisoning.