UK floods: Seven-year-old boy 'killed by carbon monoxide emitted from water pump'
Published 09/02/2014 | 12:00
A seven-year-old boy has died and his parents left in a serious condition after the family were found by rescue workers in their flooded home in Chertsey, Surrey.
Police are investigating whether boy was killed by poisonous gas after being found with parents, also seriously ill, by rescue workers in flooded home
Police are investigating whether the boy, named locally as Zane Gbangbola, was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Local residents have suggested that the poisonous fumes may have been emitted by flood water pumps the boy's father, Kye Gbangbola, 48, is said to have bought in recent weeks to clear water from their home.
An earlier photo taken from outside the home, which was flooded after the nearby River Thames burst its banks, shows hoses trailing out of a ground floor window.
The family were admitted to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey. The boy was later declared dead while his parents were in a serious condition which is not believed to be life threatening, Surrey Police said.
IT worker David North, 45, who works in Chertsey, said: “I was taking photographs of the flooding in the local area. As I turned up, there was a higher-than-normal police presence.
“Officers were blocking direct access to some of the roads and they were being quite forceful about where you could and couldn't go.
“I saw a yellow hose coming from the front window on the ground floor. Whether it was pumping out water or something else, I don't know.
“My understanding is that this incident was found out while evacuations were being carried out due to the flooding.”
A South East Coast Ambulance spokeswoman said the boy was found to be in a "very serious condition" when crews arrived.
Two police officers and 13 nearby residents were also taken to hospital and later released after being treated as a precaution.
Chief Superintendent Dave Miller said: “We cannot rule out that there may be a link to flooding in the local area and whilst the investigation is ongoing local residents should follow sensible precautions.”
“I would like to reassure local residents our officers are working closely with partner agencies and a full and thorough investigation is currently under way to determine the circumstances around this tragic incident.
“We are currently following various lines of enquiry and it would be wrong to speculate on the cause of death at this stage.”
Mr Miller urged anyone local to Thameside, Chertsey, who was feeling unwell and showing signs of diarrhoea and fever to seek medical help.
A spokeswoman for Public Health England said it was assisting police with its investigation.
“It is too early to speculate on the cause of death and Public Health England is working with the other agencies to assist this investigation and ensure appropriate action is taken to protect public health,” she said.
“Currently, there are no indications that there is a wider public health risk.”