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16 Dead From A Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In a Coal Mine In China

This Sunday, 16 people were trapped in a coal mine in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. They died due to excessive presence of Carbon Monoxide. This was reported by the official media. This incident took place when the burning belt in the mines caused the carbon monoxide to exceed the safety limit. This caused 17 people being trapped inside, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

A 75 member team rushed to the scene to try and secure the workers. Unfortunately, they were too late. 30 medical workers were also the ones rushing to the scene. Amongst 17 people who were trapped inside, only one survived and was immediately rushed to the hospital.

The excessive level of Carbon Monoxide was detected around the mine at 2:30 AM. The news says that the accident occurred at the Songzao coal mine. Which is based in Qijiang district. It belongs to a local energy company, according to the district government. The officials, however, did not provide the concentration of the Carbon Monoxide gas in the coal mine.

Chinese Laws Regarding The Carbon Monoxide Levels

According to the Chinese government and regulation, the concentration of carbon monoxide underground must not exceed 0.0024% at any given point in time. It is common knowledge that exposure to high levels of Carbon Monoxide will kill a person within minutes. In case, the Carbon Monoxide level is too high, the symptoms include dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

An investigation in China has opened up regarding this incident, however, so far no information has come forward.

Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Mild Exposure

The symptoms for this level of exposure include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
Medium Exposure

The symptoms for this level of exposure include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
High Exposure

The symptoms for this level of exposure include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Cardio-Respiratory Failure
  • Death.

What Can Be Done To Avoid Excessive Amounts Of Carbon Monoxide?

  1. Spend money on a CO detector: There are multiple brands of CO detector in the world, each having its own pros and cons. Before you decide which one to install, it is important to learn where to install it. Below are a few points to be considered while installing a (or multiple) Carbon Monoxide detectors.
  • Important: The Carbon Monoxide detector should be installed on every floor of the dwelling unit including finished basements and cellars. However, it does not include crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. (Check manufacturer’s requirements for installation instructions.) The types of carbon monoxide detectors allowed are:

i. battery-operated

ii. plug in with battery back up

iii. hard-wired with battery back up

iv. low voltage or wireless, or

v. a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms/detectors.

Note: These (number v) are required to be photoelectric smoke detectors if located within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom.

Alternative Appliances For Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Large buildings with multiple dwelling units usually contain minimal or no sources of carbon monoxide. Inside the individual units, they are required to install hard-wired detectors. These buildings may provide protection in the following areas of the structure:

  1. Areas or rooms containing centralized fossil fuel burning equipment such as boiler rooms, hot water heaters, central laundry areas and all adjacent spaces.
  2. Adjacent spaces of enclosed parking.

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