Eleven Students Died of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

December 4, 2008 Updated: December 4, 2008

On Dec. 2, 2008, 12 female students were found unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning in a dormitory at Duizhi Liang Middle School in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, causing 11 deaths and one hospitalization.

According to mainland Chinese media, all 12 students were fourth graders living in the same dormitory. On the morning of Dec. 2, 2008, they were found unconscious, poisoned by carbon monoxide which was possibly emitted by the from the charcoal stove during the night. They were quickly transferred to a local hospital for emergency care.

An anonymous student indicated that a victim’s sister at the same school could not find her sister during a morning PE class. She went to the dorm to look for her and found her sister unconscious and the teachers were trying to rescue the students and she ran in tears to a nearby public pay-phone and called her parents.

Teachers realized something was wrong when many students from the same dorm room were missing from the morning PE class. The 12 victims, who were between 9 and 11 years old, were from three different villages in Ding Bian County in Yulin City, which were Shi Zhuang village, Miao Wan village, and Cang Fanliang village. Six girls who were from Miao Wan died in the incident.

The authorities dismissed the school principal immediately after the incidence. Both principal and the head teacher were detained for further investigation.

Parents indicated that the school initiated the evening review session for the fourth graders. School authorities cite that fourth graders had to live at the school due to the long distance between their homes and the school. Each dorm room is smaller than than 20 square meters, with six bunk beds occupied by 12 students. The victims’ families live between one to five kilometers from the school.

Read the orignal article in Chinese