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Two of the injured students in critical condition

03 March 2013 / 15:03:55  GRReporter
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Two of the three students in the intensive care ward of the university hospital in the city of Larissa are still in critical condition. They suffered due to inhalation of carbon monoxide produced from the burning of wood in a makeshift stove. The same episode killed two students. According to doctors, the third victim is showing visible signs of improvement. This is a 23-year-old student from Ioannina who is already conscious and recognising his relatives. The other student from Chania remains in critical condition, but has shown some signs of improvement - he has opened his eyes and moved parts of his body. The third young man from Athens is also in critical condition. According to doctors, the fact that he is stable means that he may be out of danger, but they do not know in what state his brain will be when he regains consciousness. Both hospitals have provided everything necessary in order to enable the boys’ parents to be constantly near them.

The indescribable tragedy that shook the country was the result of youthful recklessness. Five students, who were studying at the college of Larissa, brought a handmade grill into the lodgings of two of the other boys, so that they could enjoy some food and drink. Two of them died due to inhalation of carbon monoxide and the other three are currently in hospital.

The apartment in Papazaharia Street in the neighbourhood of Filipoupolis was rented by Savas P., aged 22, and 20-year-old George P. from Chania, Crete. 21-year-old Nikos P. from Halkida, Lefteris K., 22, from Athens and Alexandros P., also 22, from Ioannina were frequent guests in their apartment. The five boys were very good friends and were studying at the Faculty of Infrastructure Projects at the college of Larissa. They liked to use the grill, made from a boiler they had cut in two, and burned wood logs in it. Initial reports that it was used for heating were not confirmed, since electric stoves for heating were discovered in their apartment. They informed the landlady that they would not buy heating fuel because they had found another way to keep warm.

The "grill" was in the yard, but on Wednesday evening, after having grilled the food, they moved it inside in order to be able to take food directly from the grill and keep warm. They also drunk alcohol - forensic doctor Christos Kravaritis told Ethnos newspaper that the combination of alcohol and carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous and it proved fatal for the young people. The results of toxicology tests will be forthcoming.

A girlfriend of the boys, who had been trying to find them all morning on Thursday, went to see them, knowing that they were there, late in the afternoon on the same day. When they did not answer, she informed the landlady and both women opened the apartment. When they entered, they found the boys fallen on the couches where they seemed to be asleep, and the air was suffocating. They called an ambulance and a doctor who lived nearby. It was too late for Savas and Nikos - physicians could only ascertain their death. Doctor Kravaritis said that all evidence indicated death due to suffocation as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Chemistry professor Konstantinos Fitianos told Ethnicity newspaper that the boys’ lack of knowledge due to their young age and lack of information had led to this tragedy. Although it is constantly emphasised how dangerous standard or makeshift wood stoves are, especially indoors, they have killed a lot of people. Scientists note that whenever you use your fireplace, you should always leave a window slightly open in order to let fresh air in. Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas and in higher concentrations it can lead to poisoning and death. Death is slow and ... sweet, since the victim falls into a lethargy, feels euphoric and gradually loses his or her life. According to Fitianos, using this type of grill for heating in an apartment is criminal negligence and this tragedy should be a warning to the public of the need for an awareness campaign.

Tags: students tragedy death Larissa
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