Indoor charcoal barbecue behind fatal CO poisoning in Doesburg

Officials looking into the cause of a tragic carbon monoxide poisoning case in Doesburg say a charcoal barbecue grill is to blame. A 61-year-old father of 12 died in the incident, and his 45-year-old wife and 7-year-old son were hospitalized.

Their condition has improved since the Wednesday incident, and they are no longer in life-threatening danger.

Authorities initially thought that a boiler was at fault. “The investigation of the central heating installation did not identify any defects that could have caused the release of carbon monoxide,” police said Thursday night.

“The cause of death is due to a charcoal barbecue that was used indoors.”

All 14 members of the Ethiopian family lived between two adjoining homes on Monseigneur Bekkerslaan in the Gelderland town at the time of the incident. Several in the family had been complaining of headaches recently, neighbors told reporters this week.

The three victims were found unresponsive by family members just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Two trauma teams were sent by helicopters along with police, firefighters, and several other emergency medical personnel by ambulance.

The other people in the homes at the time were cared for at the scene, but did not require hospitalization.

Carbon monoxide is commonly known as the “silent killer,” as the odorless gas is often imperceptible. Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, similar to the flu.