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YOUTH

Lighter gas killed 14-year-old girl

A 14 year old girl who sniffed lighter gas with some friends died from inhaling the fumes.

Kathrin Olea went with a group of other girls to a newsagent to buy cigarettes and they decided to buy a can of lighter gas and try to sniff it, according to Expressen on Thursday.

Kathrin immediately went into a coma and was rushed to hospital where it was first suspected that she had suffered a heart attack.

In fact, the lighter gas had given her severe brain damage and a week later her parents made the decision to turn off the life support system.

There is no minimum age for purchasing lighter gas in Sweden and the girl’s father demanded that there should be a ban on selling lighter gas to people under 18 years of age, similar to regulations on other substances.

“I will never get my little girl back, but I want to tell her story so that people who read this will know what can happen if you start sniffing,” he said.

US

Risky makeovers for US cars sold in Sweden

Swedish road safety experts have warned that a new batch of damaged US cars has made its way to Sweden from Lithuania, with new paint jobs hiding potentially life-endangering mechanical flaws.

Risky makeovers for US cars sold in Sweden

As many as 61 percent of cars imported to Sweden from Lithuania last year had a claims history in the US, according a survey from Larmtjänst AB, a non-profit organization owned by industry organization Insurance Sweden (Försäkring Sverige).

“We discovered that American cars got a new identity in Lithuania, so we started the investigation,” Torbjörn Serrander, Larmtjänst investigator, told The Local.

The potentially faulty cars come not only from Lithuania. One in five of all cars imported to Sweden, regardless of the last port of call, has had claims taken out on them in the US.

From the US junkyard to Sweden, most of the cars are sent to Lithuania where the chassis is replaced. The vehicles end up looking sparkling new on the surface, but under the hood there can be critical damages, meaning unsafe products are being sold on the Swedish auto market.

Larmtjänst highlighted that a Swedish customer can look up whether a car has been deemed non road-worthy by a US insurer. If, however, the car has received minor damages and the previous owner chose to sell it on, the Swedish would-be buyer cannot access the information.

“Storm-damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy that suffered minor damages or water damage, and were not deemed totally wrecked, will, however, not show up if you make an information request,” Larmtjänst wrote on its website.

Larmtjänst warned Swedes looking for a second-hand car to look out for certain tell-tale signs.

“If the car is sold with only one key and no book (with vehicle details), don’t buy it,” John Erik Heed, Stockholm police investigator, told The Local.

“The airbag may not be there”

Last year, around 5,000 cars were imported from the US to Sweden and around 500 came from Lithuania to Sweden.

“Cars are put together in the wrong way so customers must check the car’s origins. If it has been exported from USA to Lithuania, the car is probably dangerous,” Heed said.

Elodie Pradet

Follow Elodie on Twitter here

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