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Carbon monoxide thought to have killed teenager

A teenage girl has died and another teenager is critically ill after being overcome by suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a London fast food outlet.

A police investigation is underway and no arrests have been made.

The Health and Safety Executive has also been informed about the incident, which occurred in Bexley Heath.

The girl, 16, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene and the boy, 17, was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where he was said to be in a critical condition.

Gas safety campaigner Stephanie Trotter was saddened by the news and felt that the death, if caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, could have been easily prevented.

“We don’t know if the girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning but restaurants and catering facilities are certainly danger spots, due to the number of appliances in small spaces, so it would not be a surprise if carbon monoxide is pinpointed as the killer,” she said.

“If so, this death was almost certainly preventable.

“CO alarms, which cost around £20, should be present and shops like these should have access to free testing for CO leakages. As I understand it, professional testing for CO is expensive - Corgi carries it out for £1,800 at a time, which is beyond the price range of small businesses and indeed most ordinary people.

“Also the gas emergency service should carry CO testing equipment, which they don’t.

“These measures aren’t new. We figured this out in the mid 1990s and they have been recommended to Government by the Health and Safety Commission, only to be ignored.”

CO-Gas Safety - The Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society is running a poster campaign to educate schoolchildren about the dangers of CO poisoning.