Carbon monoxide strikes at Lake Powell
Vail, CO Colorado
SALT LAKE CITY ” Twenty-one people on house boats for a family gathering at Lake Powell were treated for carbon-monoxide poisoning, just a few days after a 7-year-old girl drowned when she was overcome by similar fumes, officials said Wednesday.
The odorless gas came from generators that were used to run air conditioners, said Marianne Karraker, a spokeswoman for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the Utah-Arizona border.
Thirty-four people from Utah, Texas, Washington and other states were taken to the Bullfrog Marina clinic Tuesday, and 21 were treated with oxygen. All were released by Wednesday morning, Karraker said.
“It was a family reunion of sorts and there were two house boats” among other boats, she said.
Separately, three other people were treated Monday night at Dangling Rope Marina, Karraker said. They also had generators.
“It’s hot out there, but I would tell people to turn off those generators and open all the windows,” Karraker said. “It’s playing with fire to have the generators running like that.”
All motors produce carbon monoxide, a colorless gas that can accumulate in the blood and cause death.
Megan Evans, 7, of Flagstaff, Ariz., and a friend were found unconscious Saturday while swimming near boats along the Lake Powell shore.
Megan died, while Kayleen Tubbs, 7, survived after receiving oxygen at a hospital in Page, Ariz.
Winds at the time were extremely calm, which prevented the dispersal of carbon monoxide from boat motors.
It was the first carbon monoxide-related death at Glen Canyon since 2002. Marinas and house boats have extensive warnings about carbon monoxide, Karraker said.
Authorities pushed for changes on house boats after two Colorado brothers died in August 2000.
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