Store owner killed in hazmat incident

June 15, 2009 2:55:57 PM PDT
Edison Police say the owner of a jewelry store has died and seven others are injured in a hazardous materials accident. New Jersey State police Detective Brian Polite says his agency's hazardous materials response unit responded to the Aabuhushan jewelry store in Edison.

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According to investigators, the owner was found on the floor of the bathroom by a co-worker, who called police.

Edison police Lt. Joseph Shannon identified the victim as 46-year-old Sushil Bhalla.

Police found a container with 4 to 5 ounces of cyanide in a back room at the store where Bhalla was working. Cyanide is used in jewelry cleaning.

Shannon said authorities are uncertain whether Bhalla died from a heart attack or exposure to the chemical.

Edison Patrolman David Stern was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Initial reports of additional injuries proved unfounded.

Neighboring businesses in the strip shopping center were evacuated as hazardous materials units investigated.


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