3 killed in suspected biogas leak in southern Vietnam

By Gia Bach, Thanh Nien News

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Local officials inspect the biogas system that has allegedly leaked and suffocated 3 people in Ca Mau Province on April 23. Photo: Gia Bach Local officials inspect the biogas system that has allegedly leaked and suffocated 3 people in Ca Mau Province on April 23. Photo: Gia Bach

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At least three people were killed and five others were hospitalized after a biogas tank leaked in Ca Mau Province on Saturday.
The incident happened at around 6:15 a.m. when Nguyen Van Tang, 52, reportedly found a leak in the biogas system outside his house in the province’s Cai Nuoc District.
His wife Pham Thi Gieng, 51, later found him unconscious near the pipe and called for help. She then rushed over in an attempt to save him.
Many neighbors arrived and also fell unconscious when trying to rescue the couple.
The couple and one of the neighbors, Tran My Hanh, 35, died on the spot due to apparent suffocation.
Five others were sent to hospital. Four of them have recovered but the other is still in critical condition, doctors said.
Nguyen Tien Hai, chairman of Ca Mau Province People’s Committee, has instructed relevant agencies to look into the case and handle any leak in the system.
He said many local families have recently turned to use biogas system so relevant agencies should help them learn how to use the fuel safely.
Biogas is a clean and renewable fuel that is popular in many rural areas in Vietnam.
In a biogas system, organic waste is turned into methane gas, which can then be used for cooking and heating. But there are also other gases created in that process, including the very poisonous hydrogen sulfide.
Exposure to high levels of methane gas, which is odorless, can also lead to suffocation.

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