Washington State Mourns as College Student's Life Ends in Suspected Carbon Monoxide Tragedy
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Washington State Mourns as College Student’s Life Ends in Suspected Carbon Monoxide Tragedy

A student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, has died, and three people are injured due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday night, officials reported.

The incident unfolded when a student residence manager couldn’t reach students, prompting a call to campus police, the college stated in a news release Tuesday.

Subsequently, the police broke down a door and administered emergency CPR around 8:30 p.m., according to Evergreen Police Chief David Brunckhurst.

Two students and the police officer who performed CPR were taken to the hospital, with the officer being released the following morning. The college had earlier received reports of carbon monoxide alarms triggering, and a contractor on campus had responded to those alarms on the same day.

This tragic event adds to a global toll from carbon monoxide poisoning incidents this year, including the deaths of three marines in North Carolina and a British couple who died after pesticide exposure in a hotel room next to theirs.

“This is a tragedy, and we grieve for our students and families,” said Evergreen President John Carmichael. “The safety of students, staff and faculty remain Evergreen’s top priority.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when gas accumulates in poorly ventilated spaces. It can result from various sources like leaky chimneys or unvented gas space heaters. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year.

Even though carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, its symptoms are often similar to the flu, including headaches, dizziness, and vomiting, as per the CDC.

Many people may not realize they’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide until it’s too late. In a case involving a British couple on vacation in Egypt, despite sealing off the adjacent room with masking tape, the pesticide ‘Lambda’ turned lethal through a connecting door. They went to bed, only to be discovered severely ill by their daughter the next day.

In November 2022, three Americans staying at an Airbnb in Mexico were found dead after security guards reported a strong gas smell to the police.

One of the victims, Kandace Florence, had earlier told her boyfriend that she felt like she had been drugged. When her boyfriend didn’t hear back from her, he requested a wellness check.

However, by the time emergency services arrived, all three were already found dead at the scene.

Source: CNN

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