Twelve die, 277 sick from gas poisoning
Updated: 2006-02-16 19:06
Twelve people have died and 277 others have fallen sick in northeast China
from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a combination of burning coal and bad
weather, state media said.
A coal deliverer hops onto his tricycle after
pushing the heavy load of coal brickettes across an intersection, in
Beijing, in October 2004. Twelve people have died and 277 others have
fallen sick in northeast China from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a
combination of burning coal and bad weather.
Experts attributed the deaths and illnesses to unusually low atmospheric
pressure and increased rain and humidity, which trapped carbon monoxide from
burning coal close to the ground, the China Broadcasting Station reported.
Seven of the dead were found in their homes, prompting local officials to
send police to knock on doors in the region to check on residents.
Local authorities in the affected areas in Jilin province have stepped up
publicity on how to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and urged locals to
extinguish coal heaters and coal burners before they go to sleep, the report
China is the world's largest consumer of coal, which is used widely in rural
areas for cooking and heating.