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CO deaths down 50%, says report

Twenty one people died from gas-related carbon monoxide (CO) incidents last year, almost 50 per cent less than the year before, according to data published earlier this week.

In the CORGI Carbon Monoxide Report 2008, its second report on the subject, the gas registration body said its incident investigation team inspected 63 CO incidents between April 1 2007 and March 31 2008. These resulted in 21 deaths and 42 injuries.

CORGI’s first Carbon Monoxide Report revealed there were 102 carbon monoxide incidents, claiming 50 lives and causing 218 often long-term injuries between January 2006 and April 2007. The 2007 CORGI Carbon Monoxide Report focused on CO incidents caused by gas, wood, coal and oil.

The UK media reported that for the 2007/08 period there were 21 deaths and 125 injuries, figures which CORGI accepts since there are several investigation teams other than its own and there was an absence of an official, centralised incident reporting system.

Nonetheless, CORGI said it believed only 10 of the fatalities were due to CO poisoning from gas even though in the same report CORGI chief executive Mike Thompson  writes: “The 2008 report only looks at gas carbon monoxide incidents that occurred during a 12-month period from the beginning of April 2007 to the end of March 2008.”

He also said “the month’s overlap on the previous report has been necessary to ensure the report falls within the industry reporting period. Any differences in statistics created by this overlap are not overly significant.”

London, Yorkshire, the Midlands and Wales were the worst affected regions in the UK, reporting the most incidents per head of population, the report reveals. The elderly, those living in private rented accommodation and those living in non-English speaking communities have all been identified as vulnerable groups.