Japanese 'bath cleaner' suicide deaths continue

Another four people have apparently killed themselves in Japan using a home-made gas, the latest in a wave of similar suicides sweeping the country.

Victims use bath cleaner and other household chemicals to create a mixture that gives off deadly fumes.

At least 50 people killed themselves with it last month.

The latest cases were found dead together in a car.

A police spokesman said the bodies of three men and a woman – all in their 20s and 30s – were found by a patrolling officer in Takashima, western Japan.

Police found bottles of bath detergent and other chemicals.

Japanese police last week began cracking down on popular suicide websites seen to be encouraging people by giving instructions

on how to mix the household products to make hydrogen sulphide gas.

Authorities also fear the deadly gas could endanger bystanders or rescuers.

Last week, a man on the northern island of Hokkaido killed himself by mixing detergent in his house and released toxic fumes that drove 350 neighbours from their homes.

A total of 32,155 people killed themselves in 2006 in Japan, giving the country the ninth highest suicide rate in the world.