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Old 20th March 2007, 09:31   #1
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Default 2nd Case of Carbon Monoxide poisoning inside a car.

Friends,
Very sad, there was another story on CO poisoning, now with Zen. I was very curious to know whether this is happening in India (bad QC/older technology dumping ground!) or anywhere else?

Any insights/experience suggestions would be helpful for all of us, as we do this very frequently...leaving our family members inside the car with aircon running for elongated period of time. Recently I did so, as my kid was sleeping and I was forced to let her sleep with my maid inside the car for almost an hour or so with air con running. After reading this, I feel how stupid I was then. This post in someway to induce some thoughts and as well as to serve warning for others.


Following News clip Courtesy : The Hindu : Front Page News : Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Carbon monoxide poisoning caused death of youth: police


CO can induce a feeling of intoxication on entering the blood
Signs of CO and cyanide poisoning are almost similar
Thiruvananthapuram: The police on Monday said that "chance inhalation" of fatal amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) had caused the death of the three partying youngsters, including a girl, whose putrefied bodies were found next to a car parked inside the shuttered garage of a house in the city last December.

The incident is in some ways similar to the death of three software engineers who inadvertently inhaled lethal amounts of the odourless gas emitted by their vehicle when the car was caught in a traffic jam caused by heavy rain in Chennai in October 2006.

The youth had pulled into the garage, owned by one of them, in a Maruti Zen car for a "quick and discreet" party around 3 p.m. on December 7. Ten minutes earlier they had bought a bottle of liquor from a nearby outlet. One of them had made a final call on his mobile phone at 4.45 p.m.

The girl was found dead in the car while the bodies of the youth were seen sprawled on the garage floor. The police suspect that the youth had exited the car at the last minute and made a vain scramble for the garage door. The garage was closed from inside and its construction left little scope for any other type of ventilation. The youth were partying inside the car with its windows rolled up and air-conditioning switched on, forensic experts said.

Petrol engines emit considerable amounts of CO, often up to 25 per cent of the exhaust gas. Most modern day vehicles, such as the Maruti Zen, are equipped with catalytic converters that minimise CO emission (CO is often a product of in-effective combustion).

The car was idling for more than an hour in the enclosed space and the engine got deprived of sufficient levels of oxygen needed for proper combustion. Inefficient combustion and lack of proper ventilation caused lethal levels of CO to accumulate in the garage. The air-conditioning system sucked much of the deadly gas back into car's closed cabin space, causing the deaths of the occupants, the experts said.

Forensic doctor and the former Director of Medical Education Umaduttan said that deaths due to CO poisoning were rare in Kerala.
He said more people died from oxygen deprivation while cleaning wells and septic tanks in the State. One incident of CO poisoning, which later turned to be a case of suicide, was reported in the city in the late 1980s. The victim had inhaled the gas by attaching a tube to the exhaust pipe of his car.

He said the "colourless, odourless gas" had an affinity for haemoglobin and bonded better with blood than oxygen. When it enters the blood stream, CO can induce a feeling of intoxication. The youth could have confused the giddy sensation as one caused by consuming alcohol. Signs of CO and cyanide poisoning are almost similar. Tissues and blood of the victim turn a "strange pinkish" colour, he said.

Following News Clip Courtesy : The Hindu : Front Page News : Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Last edited by adya33 : 20th March 2007 at 10:23.
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Old 20th March 2007, 10:36   #2
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:( I feel so sorry for them! They should've known that keeping the engine running in a closed area is a NO NO to do in the first place. Whew!

-Absar
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Old 20th March 2007, 11:40   #3
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CO poisoning in cars is primarily from the exhaust. Unless they've mixed with the AC inlet- either from fault or negative pressure, there's no other way CO could have been independantly generated and seeped into the cabin. The same would apply to a house with an AC and a furnace
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Old 20th March 2007, 12:44   #4
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Sorry to hear this. Why are we acting like uneducated people, its dangerous to leave the engine on in closed spaces like garage. This is one of the basic things found in many automobile sites, even if one can not where does the common sense go. Every one is affected by vehicular pollution even on open roads, then how can we not think about the dangers of these emissions in closed spaces. I am pained.
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Old 20th March 2007, 13:28   #5
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As mentioned in the news itself, the another incident caused 3 deaths in Chennai and it was a very bad expose for Santro. Later there was an enquiry done and concluded that the exhaust was blocked by the flood (it was raining heavily) and CO might have entered the cabin somehow. Not sure though how!

Just wondering, its raining heavily outside and flooding underground, how can we stay inside the without A/C?! I believe we need to find out what exactly is the issue/problem and why it happened. Any experts who can shed some more light? And also any precautionery measures would be helpful as well.
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Old 20th March 2007, 13:28   #6
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Very sad indeed. Ignorance of a basic fact has cost them dear at such a young age.
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Old 20th March 2007, 13:45   #7
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Quote:
Very sad, there was another story on CO poisoning, now with Zen. I was very curious to know whether this is happening in India (bad QC/older technology dumping ground!) or anywhere else?
This has nothing to do with technology. Burn fuel in a closed space and you will die of CO poisoning. If you do not want to die of CO poisoning do not burn fuel in enclosed spaces.
However in other cases where people have died outdoors because of the exaust being fed into the AC system, this is a problem with design, and/or maintenance.
Some cars have a rear drain hole in the hatch boot. So if that leaks and exhaust gases get it, CO can kill you pretty quick.
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Old 20th March 2007, 13:48   #8
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Add to all that, the effects of the alcohol also not helping them realize that something was going wrong.
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Old 20th March 2007, 19:01   #9
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If you plan to keep your car ac running even while being stationary its better to keep a little bit of the window open. A centimetre is more than enough.

When it rains you can change the Airconditioning from recycle air to cool air drawn from outside. Most of us keep it in recycle mode in the cities due to pollution and dust. When its raining dust or pollution wouldn't be obvious.
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Old 20th March 2007, 22:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Add to all that, the effects of the alcohol also not helping them realize that something was going wrong.

Or just thinking it was the effect of the alcohol, making them drowsy...

Really tragic when such freak accidents occur.

Suhail
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Old 20th March 2007, 23:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Some cars have a rear drain hole in the hatch boot. So if that leaks and exhaust gases get it, CO can kill you pretty quick.
My 800 has a drain hole in the hatch boot..!![:(]Stepney is above it and above that there is a carboard+a carpet.Any danger?
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Old 21st March 2007, 00:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This has nothing to do with technology. Burn fuel in a closed space and you will die of CO poisoning. If you do not want to die of CO poisoning do not burn fuel in enclosed spaces.
Tragic. If only they knew of this.
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Old 21st March 2007, 01:22   #13
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car is made for commute. even in open space, stationary car running it's engine is dangerous.

let's spread the message as much as we can. it's really freaky, and People need to be explained about the this silent killer. most of us suffer from "this will not happen to me" syndrome.

the need for having a party in garage for these youth is another point to ponder over.
And it has also happened to people having a fire in closed spaces, to keep warm in extreme winter.

Last edited by vivekiny2k : 21st March 2007 at 01:25.
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Old 21st March 2007, 11:23   #14
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MAke sure that the rubber is in good shape and also there are no leaks in exhaust.
CO poisoning outdoors in a car is a really really freak incident. Its like the Titanic.
Titanic sank because of the iceberg, that everybody knows, but what people don't know that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Even if one of the factors had gotten missed out, it would not have sank.
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