Three dead, one critical from carbon monoxide poisoning after sleeping in car with engine on in Penang

The four college students, all aged 21, were on their way back to Sungai Petani when they stopped at the parking lot of a fuel station in Sama Gagah along the North South Highway at about 8.30pm last night. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
The four college students, all aged 21, were on their way back to Sungai Petani when they stopped at the parking lot of a fuel station in Sama Gagah along the North South Highway at about 8.30pm last night. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

SEBERANG PERAI, Sept 17 — Three college students who fell asleep in their car with the engine running died from carbon monoxide poisoning early this morning while one more is in critical condition.

The four college students, all aged 21, were on their way back to Sungai Petani when they stopped at the parking lot of a fuel station in Sama Gagah here along the North South Highway at about 8.30pm last night.

Surveillance footage of the site showed them leaving the vehicle, believed to be for food, and returning shortly after.

They never exited the vehicle again in the recording.

One of the victims, Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri, had sent a message to her mother at about 9.15pm yesterday to inform her that they were resting at the carpark before resuming their drive.

When she failed to return home at about 11pm, her father went to the site to search for them and found all four unconscious in the vehicle with the engine still running and all doors closed.

An ambulance arrived at the scene at about 1am and one of four, Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi, was pronounced dead at the scene while the three others were rushed to the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

Ayuni later died at the hospital and twins, Nor Adilah Mohd Safwan and Nor Aqilah, were admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in critical condition.

Nor Adilah and Nor Aqilah were admitted at the Hospital Angkatan Tentera Lumut in Perak and Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan Wangsa Maju, respectively.

Nor Adilah passed away at 4.23pm without regaining consciousness.

According to Central Seberang Perai District Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Shafee Abd Samad, Nor Aqilah is still under close observation in the intensive care unit of the Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan Wangsa Maju.

“A mechanic from Honda Bukit Mertajam inspected the car in which the four were found in and suspected a leak on the car’s exhaust pipe,” he said.

He said the inspection revealed that the exhaust pipe was emitting smoke and making loud noises due to a leak.

He said the leak in the exhaust pipe had caused smoke to enter the vehicle that could possibly have caused the carbon monoxide poisoning of its occupants.

All four of the victims were course mates who studied pharmacy and were awaiting their convocation.

They were returning to their respective homes in Sungai Petani, Bedong and Gurun after a trip to Pulau Jerejak in Penang.

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