Author Topic: Death from coal gas poisoning  (Read 767 times)

Offline Jang

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Death from coal gas poisoning
« on: Sunday 26 March 17 07:42 BST (UK) »
Was death from coal gas poisoning unusual in the 1930s and 40s in Scotland?

I have a brother and sister who both died from coal gas poisoning - the sister in 1932 at home in Dundee - "found dead 7.30am, last seen alive September 26 12 midnight". The cause of death was given as: "probably asphyxia by coal gas poisoning". The informant was her brother, who died in 1943 "found dead at 8.00am in Plumbers Warehouse, Dundee". The cause of death was "carbon monoxide poisoning from inhalation of coal gas".

Jan
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Offline Johnf04

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 26 March 17 08:22 BST (UK) »
It was a reasonably common form of suicide.
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Offline scotmum

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 26 March 17 08:36 BST (UK) »
But often there were other circumstances too.

For example, also in 1932, a chap in a Dundee tenement accused his neighbours of trying to poison him by turning on the stair gas. Again in 1932, three young children were found in their Dundee home suffering from gas poisoning. Another in Dundee in 1932, saw two elderly sisters dying following the escape of gas from a leak in a bracket on the mantlepiece.
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Offline Jebber

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 26 March 17 08:49 BST (UK) »
Health and safety was not like it is today. Unqualified people  installed  gas appliances and more made alterations to gas pipework, often with fatal results.


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Offline buckhyne

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 26 March 17 08:53 BST (UK) »
I have a relative who died in Lower Largo in 1939, aged 79, from 'asphyxia from coal gas poisoning accidental'.
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Offline Jang

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 26 March 17 09:24 BST (UK) »
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I did wonder about suicide ... Neither of the death certificates or the RCE said "accidental". The sister was 49, the brother 52.

Scotmum, thanks for the examples - I might try a search on the "Dundee Courier" for "coal gas poisoning" in those years. I would think if it was accidental, it might rate a mention, but not if it was suicide.

Jan
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Offline My_Scottish_Ancestors

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #6 on: Monday 24 July 17 04:42 BST (UK) »
Hi Jang,
I just downloaded my ancestors death record from the ScotlandPeople's website and learned that she died from Coal Gas Poisoning in the 1920's. There was an additional document linked to the first one that indicated that the cause of death was Suicide by Coal Gas Poisoning. If you are downloading from ScotlandsPeople, make sure to check if any corrections were made because they can be easy to miss. If there are any corrections, then above the document you are viewing, it will say

*There have been 1 corrections identified with this entry: View 1st correction

Offline medpat

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #7 on: Monday 24 July 17 06:02 BST (UK) »
Using the gas from the oven was a common way for suicide as well switching on the gas to fires without lighting them. Had someone in my class in the 1960s go home from school to find mother dead in the kitchen - she'd committed suicide.

No automatic lighting of the gas equipment then, also poor ventilation caused deaths - well known for causing accidental deaths were the gas water heaters in bathrooms.

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Offline Jang

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Re: Death from coal gas poisoning
« Reply #8 on: Monday 24 July 17 06:59 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the tip. I did download the RCE for the sister which said, "asphyxia by coal gas poisoning" but for some reason (maybe lack of credits at the time), I never downloaded the RCE for the brother. Just did and it says "carbon monoxide poisoning from inhalation of coal gas. Suicidal." So it looks like the first was accidental and the second deliberate.

Jan
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