Carbon monoxide poisoning: Family of four found dead in Stuttgart | News | DW | 05.02.2018
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Carbon monoxide poisoning: Family of four found dead in Stuttgart

Several hundred people die each year in Germany from carbon monoxide poisoning. On Monday, a young family of four was found dead near Stuttgart by a relative.

Four people were found dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a house in a town near Stuttgart on Monday.

Police said that there was no evidence of a crime or suicide.

Read more: Carbon monoxide: odorless, colorless, lethal

Police worker enters the Esslingen house where a family of four was found dead

Workers were initally only able to enter with respiratory equipment, after which the house was ventilated

What happened

  • A relative looking through the windows of a house in Esslingen discovered the bodies of two children, aged four and three, and their 29-year-old parents.
  • First responders found dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, but it was unclear why.
  • The fire brigade was only able to enter the newly-built terrace using respiratory equipment.

Mourning family

Head of operations for the German Red Cross Martin Kuhn told public broadcaster SWR that 50 to 60 mourning neighbors and family members had already visited the home of the family. "People are being talked to, people are being calmed down, but emotions can't be taken away from them."

A police spokesman told news weekly Focus: "We expect it was a tragic accident."

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Invisible killer: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced when materials burn without sufficient oxygen. Common sources are defective heating systems or power generators. When inhaled, it blocks the transport of oxygen through the bloodstream and can lead to death.

Multiple cases: Several hundred people die each year in Germany from carbon monoxide poisoning often caused by charcoal grills, heating, or gasoline powered appliances. In 2017 a man was found guilty of negligent killing after six teenagers, including his son and daughter, were killed by carbon monoxide from a gasoline generator in his allotment shed in the Bavarian town of Arnstein.

Install a detector: Smoke detectors are mandatory throughout Germany but carbon monoxide detectors are not. Nonetheless they can be purchased and installed relatively cheaply.

Read more: Dead teenagers in garden shed killed by carbon monoxide poisoning - German police

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aw/rt (dpa, AFP)

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