A fatal disaster case based on exposure to hydrogen sulfide--an estimation of the hydrogen sulfide concentration at the scene

Forensic Sci Int. 1994 Jun 3;66(2):111-6. doi: 10.1016/0379-0738(94)90335-2.


Four adult men fell into an artificial lake which was being used to raise flatfish, after a water pipe had been connected to a tube allowing seawater to flow into the lake. Forensic autopsies were carried out on three of the four men, who died soon after the incident. From autopsy findings, the cause of death was diagnosed to be suffocation after aspirating seawater in the three victims. To clarify why the men fell into the lake, a chemical analysis for hydrogen sulfide was carried out using the extractive alkylation technique combined with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The sulfide was detected as its derivative, bis(pentafluorobenzyl)sulfide, in body tissues taken from all the victims, and the concentration of hydrogen sulfide gas at the scene was estimated as having been nearly fatal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Disasters
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / analysis
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / poisoning*
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Lung / chemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*


  • Hydrogen Sulfide