A resident at an assisted living and memory care facility in San Mateo died after ingesting toxic chemicals in an incident that left two others hospitalized, according to authorities.
Around 8:10 p.m. Sunday, an officer was dispatched to Atria Park of San Mateo in response to a report of a woman who’d been poisoned, according to the San Mateo Police Department.
A preliminary investigation revealed that three of the care home’s residents were hospitalized after ingesting toxic chemicals, police said. One of the residents, identified only as a 93-year-old woman, died at a hospital, police said.
Authorities did not provide details about the investigation, type of chemical the residents ingested or how they ingested it.
Officer Alison Gilmore, a police spokesperson, said she could not release further information Monday night in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation told NBC Bay Area the residents were believed to have accidentally been given a caustic liquid instead of grape juice on Saturday.
In a statement to the news station, officials with Atria Park of San Mateo said the residents were mistakenly served dishwashing liquid.
“We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away,” according to the statement. “Our sincerest condolences are with the family. When this occurred, our staff immediately contacted authorities, and the residents were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.”
The facility’s officials told the news station they are conducting an internal investigation, and the employees involved have been suspended until the investigation is complete.
“We will continue working with the police and Department of Social Services to fully review and assess the incident, after which we will take additional actions as needed,” according to the statement. “The safety and well-being of our residents remain our top priorities at all times. Out of respect for the people involved, we cannot comment further.”
The Times submitted questions to spokespeople at parent company Atria Senior Living by email, but the emails were returned as undeliverable. An employee at the facility offered to have the executive director call a Times reporter, but the executive director had not contacted The Times on Monday night.
San Mateo police continue to investigate the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Paul Pak at (650) 522-7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to http://tinyurl.com/SMPDTips or by phone at (650) 522-7676.