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A British couple died while vacationing at a luxury resort in Egypt after the room next door was fumigated to kill bed bugs. The adjoining room was connected to theirs and sealed with masking tape around the door.
CNN reports that John and Susan Cooper, ages 69 and 63 respectively, died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of being exposed to the pesticide. A substance known as Lambda was used. It’s sometimes diluted with dichloromethane, which causes the body to ingest carbon monoxide.
The couple’s daughter, Kelly Ormerod, was traveling with her parents and staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. She knocked on their room door the morning after the fumigation and found her parents ill. John Cooper passed away in the room and Susan later in the hospital.
While the incident occurred in 2018, a three-day inquest has just been concluded in the UK. Dr. James Adelely, a senior coroner in Lancashire, ruled that the deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of inhaling the pesticide containing dichloromethane.
Anthony’s Take: This is a sad story. I have started traveling with a portable carbon monoxide detector in case of leaks. It might seem like overkill, but it’s compact and gives me peace of mind. I was informed by a reader (Derek) that in this case “a carbon monoxide detector would not have helped. Dichloromethane, also known as methylphenidate chloride, is inhaled then metabolized by the body into carbon monoxide. There is no significant carbon monoxide floating in the air.” Condolences to the family and friends of this couple.
(Image Credits: Blue Sky Hotel via Facebook and Steigenberger Hotels.)
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