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Hostel operators indicted in death of Canadian tourist
Central News Agency
2014-03-05 10:50 PM
Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Two men were indicted Wednesday on manslaughter charges related to the carbon monoxide poisoning of a Canadian tourist at a hostel in Taipei late last year. Taipei District Prosecutors Office said the tourist, identified only as "Lydia," died after she was exposed to carbon monoxide from a gas-powered water heater at the hostel in the city's Daan District in December. The facility was actually a rented apartment that was being used illegally as a small hostel by the two men, surnamed Lin and Ko, who were subletting the space at daily rates, prosecutors said. The men had no legal registration to run a hostel, according to the indictment. It said the apartment did not meet structural or fire safety standards, nor was it equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. The Canadian tourist checked into the apartment after arrival in Taiwan on Dec. 27 and was found unconscious in her room Dec. 30, the day she was due to check out, prosecutors said. The room adjoined a balcony where the water heater was mounted - a typical set-up in most Taipei apartments - but the balcony was completely enclosed, prosecutors said. In such situations, carbon monoxide, which is produced when the gas does not burn properly, could drift indoors because of the lack of ventilation. The incident is believed to have happened in the early hours of Dec. 30 while another female guest was taking a shower. Several women staying at the apartment, including the Canadian tourist, were rushed to hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Canadian died of respiratory failure. (By Page Tsai and Lilian Wu)
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