Boy, 12, dies in gas ‘tragedy’
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.