The body of a University of Waterloo student was found in UW Place’s Beck Hall on Jan. 12 around 3:30 p.m.
Police, paramedics, and the fire department, as well as a hazardous material team, answered a 911 call in response to concerns of “chemical exposure,” according to police. Students from Beck Hall were evacuated for several hours as the officers worked.
While details surrounding the death and the chemical exposure still remain scarce, police have confirmed that the deceased was an 18-year-old female.
Information about the cause of death and the chemical vapour remain unclear, to the frustration of many UW students. Users on the university’s subreddit expressed confusion surrounding the evacuation and events surrounding the death.
Waterloo Region Police Services Executive Officer Mike Haffner explained that given the circumstances surrounding the case, few details would be publicized.
“We wouldn’t be reporting on the name of the individual, obviously out of respect for her and the family, and especially involving the circumstances … with certain situations and call types that we would respond to, our information with all media is pretty minimal,” Haffner told Imprint.
Carleen Carroll, UW associate vice-president of communications, released a statement on behalf of the university.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our students and express our heartfelt condolences to the student’s family and friends,” Carroll said. “We are respecting the family’s wish for privacy and will not be commenting further.”