Scottish singer died due to inhalation of chloroethane

Darius Campbell Danesh, a 41-year-old Scottish singer and stage actor, was found dead in a hotel room within Rochester's Berkman Apartment complex Aug. 11, 2022.

Darius Campbell Danesh arrives at the "Suicide Squad" European Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.
Darius Campbell Danesh.
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
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ROCHESTER — The Scottish singer found dead in a Rochester hotel died due to inhalation of chloroethane, according to the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office.

Darius Campbell Danesh, a 41-year-old Scottish singer and stage actor, was found dead in a hotel room within The Berkman Apartment complex Aug. 11, 2022. The Berkman, at 217 14th Ave. SW, is nearby Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital campus. The reason and length of his stay at The Berkman are unknown.

The Medical Examiner's Office also reported suffocation as a significant condition in his death, according to the report released on Sept. 9, 2022. The death was ruled accidental.

In a statement released by Campbell Danesh's family, it said that Darius suffered from chronic neck pain following an accident in 2010.

"The results of medical examinations have confirmed that Darius's death was an accident caused by chloroethane, which is used to treat pain and that tragically led to respiratory arrest."


Chloroethane is a colorless gas with a "sharp smell," according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. People can be exposed to chloroethane from air or water containing the gas. The agency also notes chloroethane is used to numb skin prior to medical procedures, including ear piercing and skin biopsies.

It is also used as a treatment in sports injuries - as it is available as a pain relief spray. Chloroethane became popular as an inhalant street drug in the 1980s — and is fatal if inhaled by humans in higher concentrations. Breathing in its vapors at more than 15% concentration is often fatal.

In the United Kingdom, Campbell Danesh was well-known for his participation in music competition shows, “Pop Stars” in 2001 and “Pop Idol” in 2002. He also performed in London stage productions, including “Chicago,” “Funny Girl” and “Guys and Dolls.”

Actor Gerard Butler, who visited Rochester throughout this summer, was also a friend of Campbell Danesh. Both men are from Scotland and grew up in the Glasgow area.

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