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Family suffers CO poisoning keeping warm in tent in northern Taiwan

Mother dies after using charcoal stove for heat inside tent

Charcoal stove proves deadly in tragic camping accident. (CNA photo)

Charcoal stove proves deadly in tragic camping accident. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 40-year-old mother, surnamed Luo (羅), died from carbon monoxide poisoning after bringing a charcoal stove into her tent in Jianshi Township, Hsinchu County, on Sunday (Nov. 26).

Her twin 12-year-old daughters sharing the tent were fortunate to survive after being rushed to the hospital, according to UDN. The family was attempting to keep warm when the temperatures dipped to 9 C overnight, leading them to use the camping stove inside the tent, which had poor ventilation.

One daughter woke up in the morning feeling dizzy around noon, but decided to go back to sleep after seeing her mother and sister still sleeping. When the campsite owner looked in to see why the family had not gotten up for lunch, he found all three suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.

The owner placed an emergency call, and all three people were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The two twin daughters were revived after being treated at the hospital. The mother, however, could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead.

The two girls are currently still under observation at the hospital and being looked after by their grandfather. They still have not been told that their mother has passed away.

Police are currently investigating the incident, which took place at the Siulang Tribe in Jianshi Township. Initial reports were that the family had lit a fire in a camping stove outside, later bringing it inside at night to keep warm, which led to a buildup of carbon monoxide in the tent.

Hsinchu County Fire Department reminds the public that with the arrival of winter, proper ventilation is required whenever one uses a heating stove, gas appliance, barbecue, or even a hot pot.