x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Three face charges after workers killed in room by carbon monoxide

Three employees of a construction company are investigated in connection with the deaths of three workers who died when carbon monoxide flooded their room.

DUBAI // Three employees of a construction company are being investigated in connection with the deaths of three workers who died when carbon monoxide flooded their room. The men were found dead about two weeks ago in a labour camp in Al Quoz, Lt Col Ali Ghanem, chief of the Bur Dubai police station, said yesterday. The men were found with high levels of the deadly gas in their blood.

Police say the men were exposed to the gas when a diesel-powered electrical generator was placed under the air-conditioning unit that fed into their room. Brig Gen Khalil al Mansouri, the director of Dubai CID, identified the three suspects as a senior executive from the contracting company; a foreman; and the labour accommodations supervisor. Police believe the company decided to use the diesel generator after the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority cut off power to the building for non-payment. The generator was used to run air-conditioning units.

The labourers who died lived in a room whose air-conditioning unit was adjacent to the generator, Col Ghanem said. All three suspects have been referred to the Bur Dubai prosecutor's office, which is led by Sami al Shamsi. The office may lay charges including gross negligence to accidentally causing death, according to prosecution sources. Carbon monoxide is colourless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating, which makes it very difficult to detect.

People who are exposed to it often get headaches and vertigo and develop flu-like symptoms. Exposure to large amounts of the poison affects the central nervous system and heart and can cause death. amustafa@thenational.ae