Boy, 12, dies in gas ‘tragedy’

The Press - - News - Stuff re­porter

A boy is thought to have died from car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing while us­ing a gas-heated out­door shower at his fam­ily’s bach.

Paramedics spent nearly an hour try­ing to save 12-year-old Jesse Sa­muel af­ter his mother found him un­re­spon­sive at the West Coast prop­erty on Wed­nes­day, The Press has learned.

The Alexan­dra boy and fam­ily mem­bers were at the Haast bach dur­ing school hol­i­days.

Emer­gency ser­vices were called at 5.35pm.

While emer­gency ser­vices have been tight-lipped about what went wrong, a source said the boy was us­ing an out­door shower, where an out­door gas bot­tle heated the wa­ter.

The gas over­came him in the en­closed space.

His mother went to check on him when he did not get out of the shower and found him un­con­scious.

An am­bu­lance and lo­cal doc­tor went to the scene. A res­cue he­li­copter was called, but then stood down, a St John spokes­woman said.

Con­sta­ble Paul Gur­ney, of Haast, said Jesse’s death was ‘‘a tragedy for the fam­ily and Haast’’. ‘‘It’s not good when some­one dies, es­pe­cially when it’s a 12-year-old. Haast St John did a ster­ling job to try and re­vive him but to no avail.’’

St John spent al­most an hour try­ing to re­vive the boy, but he died at

6.30pm, Gur­ney said.

Jesse’s death had been re­ferred to the coro­ner, though po­lice were mak­ing in­quiries on the coro­ner’s be­half, a po­lice spokes­woman said.

More than a dozen peo­ple have been killed in New Zealand in the past 10 years by car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing re­lat­ing to heat­ing or camp­ing equip­ment, or fumes from ve­hi­cles.

In 2015, Cindy Tangipu­runga Ge­orge, 31, her daugh­ter Pio Scar­let Jete­jura Raukete, 5, and her sons Teu­ruaa Ju­nior Ge­orge, 3, and Teiyzsh­waun Gor­don Ri­cardo Nelder Kruz Ge­orge, 2, were found dead in their Ash­bur­ton home.

Ge­orge col­lapsed and died in the hall­way while try­ing to make a last­ditch bid to turn off a car left run­ning in the garage. Her three young chil­dren had per­ished.

In 2010, Ti­maru man Ian Philip Joyce, 82, died of car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing in a car­a­van at the Lake Alexan­d­rina camp­ing ground.

The year be­fore, a gas heater was re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of Tau­marunui cou­ple David Ni­cholas Otimi,

43, and his wife Ber­nadette, 41, in their home.

South African-born Auck­land friends, Derek Hamil­ton, 50, and Martin van Rens­burg, 37, died of sus­pected car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing in 2008. The pair had brought a bar­be­cue into a cabin at an iso­lated ru­ral camp­ing ground near Raglan, for heat­ing.

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