Poison gas kills 13 more in Beijing

The recent deaths due to gas poisoning has brought the fatalities to at least 28 in a week.
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Published on Feb 22, 2006 12:05 PM IST
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None | ByAgence France-Presse, Beijing

Thirteen people in northeastern China have died from carbon monoxide poisoning, a local health official said, bringing the number of coal-heating related fatalities recorded in a week to at least 28.

At least 13 people died and around 100 others fell sick last week from the carbon monoxide poisoning in Heilongjiang's Mudanjiang city, a local health official said on Wednesday.

The poisonings occurred as unusually low atmospheric pressure trapped the poisonous gas from coal-fired heaters in people's homes, an official at the Mudanjiang health bureau told the agency by phone.

"The deaths were caused by adverse weather conditions and poor ventilation in homes where coal was being burned for heat," she said.

One of the fatalities was a woman who was eight months pregnant, according to the Heilongjiang News website.

The deaths followed another report last week of at least 15 people dying and 270 others falling sick in similar circumstances in neighboring Jilin province.

Coal remains the main fuel for cooking and heat in many places throughout China, leading to frequent incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially in the winter months in northern regions.

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