THE TRAGIC deaths last Friday night of a woman and her five-year-old son, who were found unconscious inside a car with the engine still running, may have been caused by a defective exhaust pipe that filled their vehicle with toxic fumes, a Traffic Police
They were pronounced dead at the hospital.
“Tests revealed that the amount of toxic gas inside the vehicle exceeds the legally-allowed limit, and could be the cause of the deaths,” said Pol Lt-General Somyos Abniam.
Suttida Sakunoang had left the car engine running so she and her son could use the air-conditioning as they slept.
On Tuesday, police conducted a test and found that toxic gas leaked into the vehicle when the engine turned on. A further test was conducted yesterday.
Anekpon Saenghirun, an expert and an advisor to the Traffic Police Division, said after the examination that the joint of the vehicle’s exhaust pipe had clearly malfunctioned for a while. “But because this defect didn’t make any noise, the vehicle owner had not realised that something was wrong,” he said.
According to Anekpon, the amount of carbon-monoxide in the vehicle reached 9.73 units – far higher than the legally-allowed 1.5 units.
“So, this toxic gas could be the cause of the deaths,” he said. “Had they not slept, they might have smelled the fumes before it was too late”.