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POISON

Married couple found dead in cellar

A married couple in their sixties have been found dead in the cellar of their home near Sollefteå in northern Sweden.

Police said the pair had a power generator in the cellar that may have leaked, making inhalation of carbon monoxide the probable cause of death.

“We’re viewing it as an accident. But we can’t ascertain the cause of death with any certainty until we have carried out a post mortem examination,” police spokesman Bengt-Olof Lundberg told news agency TT.

Relatives of the pair entered the house in a small village near Sollefteå when neighbours reported not having seen the pair for more than a week.

The pair generally used the cellar door to enter and leave the house, and both of the deceased were wearing outdoor clothing when their bodies were discovered. Their dogs were also found dead at the scene.

As the couple temporarily lacked electricity, they were reliant for power on the generator they had placed in the cellar. Fumes from the generator were routed through a pipe that the couple had rigged to a fireplace, an arrangement police think may have been unsafe.

“We believe that’s how the fumes leaked into the house,” said Lundberg.

A colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, carbon monoxide is highly toxic, with studies suggesting it may be the cause of up to 50 percent of fatal poisonings in many industrial countries.

METRO

‘Mysterious gas’ sickens Stockholm metro riders

A Stockholm metro station was shut down late Wednesday night after several people were sickened by a mysterious substance thought to be some sort of gas.

'Mysterious gas' sickens Stockholm metro riders

Ambulances were called to aid around seven people who became nauseous while waiting in the Solna Centrum metro station, just north of central Stockholm, shortly before midnight on Wednesday night.

All trains to and from the station were halted and police also set up barricades around the building.

Those affected by the suspected mystery substance were given oxygen to cope with the effects of exposure to what some theorized was tear gas or pepper spray.

But neither police nor emergency crews were able to confirm what the substance may have been.

“And I don’t think we’ll ever figure it out,” Anette Bäcklin of the Stockholm fire brigade told the TT news agency.

Firefighters with expertise in chemicals were called to the scene and examined the area with special equipment throughout the night and into Thursday morning.

But readings taken at the station’s platforms, escalators, or ticket counters failed to produce any results or give clues as to what the nausea-inducing substance could have been.

Readings taken on people’s clothes also proved fruitless.

However, the building was reopened and trains were once again operating normally by Thursday morning, despite the fact that investigators had failed to determine what may have caused people to become ill – including some firefighters who first arrived on the scene.

“They felt nauseous and their tongues went numb. But when they received oxygen, they felt better,” said Åsa Dehlin of the Stockholm fire brigade to TT.

TT/The Local/dl

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