Two women died of carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday after a leak of the lethal gas in their West Rogers Park apartment building in Chicago, according NBC. Authorities are blaming too few CO detectors for the tragedy.–188648511.html#ixzz2JIm3zI6i

The victims were Rasheeda Akhter, 77, and Zanib Ahmed, 18.

Firefighters responded to West North Shore Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday to discover Akhter in cardiac arrest and Ahmed having seizures, NBC reported. The two were taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

The first responders checked out the building, because they suspected there was a carbon monoxide leak, but they could not find it, according to NBC.

Firefighters left but five hours later they were called back to the building. They found Khurshid Begum, whose family owns the apartment building, unresponsive at the site.

Responders detected high levels of carbon monoxide and contacted the gas company. As it turned out, residents of the building had been getting headaches – a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning – when they were in the laundry room in the basement.

They would then open a window in the basement, and officials told NBC that this window being opened may have made it impossible for the building’s one CO detector to get an accurate reading.

Officials suspect the source of the gas was an old boiler, according to NBC.

Akhter and Ahmed died, but Begum survived. Five children were also hospitalized.

Chicago mandates that carbon monoxide detectors be placed no more than 15 feet away from each bedroom or sleeping area in a residence, according to NBC.


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