Gas from faulty heaters kills 17 in Algeria amid cold snap


Seventeen people died in Algeria in several cases of carbon monoxide poisoning overnight, emergency services said Tuesday, as plummeting temperatures push people to use crude heaters emitting dangerous fumes.

Nine members of the same family — a couple, their five children and two relatives — were found at their home in the city of Bou Saada, around 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Algiers, the civil defence agency said on its Facebook page.

In the northeastern province of Setif, a couple and their four children were also found dead overnight after apparently breathing toxic fumes from their heater, the agency said.

Two other people suffocated in the northwestern city of Mostaganem, the service added.

All of the deaths were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Falling temperatures across North Africa in recent days have pushed people to use heaters that burn natural gas or liquid fuels and release carbon monoxide, an odourless and potentially deadly gas.

Algeria’s emergency services warned that a “lack of ventilation, poor assembly (of heaters), lack of maintenance, or the use of devices not intended for heating” can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and death.


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