Teenager dies in gas leak, younger brother critical

Defective cylinder might have caused the leak, say police

Published - March 08, 2019 09:54 pm IST

A 13-year-old child died due to asphyxiation while his younger brother is critical after a leak filled their house with LPG at Jagadish Nagar near Jeevanbhima Nagar on Friday morning.

The siblings lived in a small room, under an apartment’s staircase which had no windows or ventilation. Their mother, Kalavathi, 40, a widow and a native of Nepal, was away at work. She eked out a living as a domestic help.

Around 5.30 a.m., she left the house, as per her routine. She locked the room where the two children were sleeping. When she returned around 8 a.m., she was met with a strong whiff of LPG, said the HAL police. The two children were unconscious.

She rushed them to a nearby hospital where Sameer was declared brought dead. Four-and-a-half-year old Shashir remains critical in St. John’s Hospital.

“They were using an illegal gas connection which they had refilled from a nearby shop,” said Abdul Ahad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Whitefield).

Action against gas vendor

The police have booked a case of negligence against the gas vendor. “We suspect a defective cylinder might have caused the leak. We have taken him for questioning,” Mr. Ahad added.

No family support

Kalavathi had migrated to the city in search of a job soon after her husband’s death. Sameer went to a local school.

With little leeway in balancing work and their family life, many migrants are forced to lock their children at home during the day.

In November 2018, two Nepali children were locked in an outhouse of an apartment complex while their parents went for work. They died when a fire broke out in the house. The children had fallen unconscious and were asphyxiated.

Younger brother critical

Sanjiv Lewin, Chief of Medical Services and Professor of Paediatrics at St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, said that Shashir was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where his condition remains critical. “He may require ventilator because oxygen supply to his brain is reduced. Carbon Monoxide that has been absorbed through lungs is serious, particularly in young children,” he said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning not only affects blood supply to the brain, but, in severe cases, can also lead to heart problems.

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