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7-year-old girl dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in tent

39 Comments

Police in Minami-Ise, Mie Prefecture, said Sunday that a 7-year-old girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning after she was found unconscious in a tent on Saturday night.

According to police, Hideki Mizoguchi, his wife and two daughters aged 7 and 3, had been camping in a large tent on the balcony of Mizoguchi's company facility on Friday night and that they had been burning charcoal briquettes to keep warm while they slept, Fuji TV reported.

Early on Saturday morning, Mizoguchi returned home where he said he suddenly felt ill and lost consciousness. When he woke up late in the afternoon, he returned to the tent and found his wife and two daughters unconscious at around 6:20 p.m. and called 119.

Mizoguchi, his wife and two daughters were all taken to hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. The 7-year-old girl was pronounced dead a short time later, police said. Mizoguchi's wife and 3-year-old daughter are in a stable condition, police said.

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39 Comments
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Another stupid parenting decision results in the loss of yet another child. Charcoal, in an enclosed place, where's your common sense?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

An accident? Or a mass-murder? It sounds a bit suss to me!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

&sensei258, apparently they forgot to pack it along with everything else. Seriously though, it's likely just inexperience. Warmer sleeping bags or even a hot water bottle would have made a huge difference in temperature and comfort.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

This is really sad. I'm not going to say a stupid "parenting" decision, but it is definitely a stupid decision. Many people in Japan and abroad suffer from such incidents, not just with charcoal but with gas heaters as well... this won't be the only one we hear about before the spring. Very sad for the family regardless of who was responsible.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who says it's common sense - if it was that common, they would have known not to do it.

-10 ( +4 / -15 )

The whole process of setting up and cooking on a BBQ is not a fool's game. I am sure though that there are warnings on the charcoal box and BBQ kit about carbon monoxide.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The thing about common sense is that it's often not common, and often not sensible. It's usually some knowledge that is only common to a group, and that group can sometimes be as small as a single family. So it's really a meaningless term.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Who says it's common sense - if it was that common, they would have known not to do it.

It is long known and long taught that fires produce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when carbon is being burned in an oxygen environment. The only time you could possibly burn carbon and not have carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide is when you have a complete combustion of carbon, it is not a guarantee but a strong indicator of complete carbon combustion when you have a solid blue flame.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Who camps on a large balcony? Let alone burning charcoal in tent with poor ventilation.

Another stupid parenting decision

Yup. Beyond stupid.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

It is long known and long taught that fires produce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when carbon is being burned in an oxygen environment.

I agree, it has been long known and taught. But for this to be common sense, they would have had to know this. We don't know if they did or didn't. And I'm hesitant to condemn people for their lack of a given knowledge.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

strangerland - I see you still remember the zingers I got you with weeks before. I'm in your head and loving it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it not written on the barbecues and bags of charcoal (common practice elsewhere in OECD)?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is it not written on the barbecues and bags of charcoal (common practice elsewhere in OECD)?

Maybe - do you know that they definitely got the charcoal in one of those bags?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If the tent was completely enclosed with the bottom being tent fabric no fresh air can get in. The way tents are made now a days is not conducive to setting fires. If the tent were like a teepee you would have fresh air coming in from the bottom and top. It would be less likely to circum to carbon monoxide.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

yeah, common sense is overrated.

Think Ill go tell my kids to go play in traffic now

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Obviously, from what I can tell from the comments, compassion and condolence aren't too common either. I guess you geniuses have never made mistakes. Do really think these parents wanted to kill their daughter? Yeah, they made a grave mistake, and most likely nobody feels worse than they do. Unfortunately, angry, bitter vultures are way too common and ready to pounce on any misfortune of others to feed their own misery.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

im in strangerlands heaaadddd!

Moderator: If you post anymore rubbish like this, you'll be suspended from the discussion board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another stupid parenting decision results in the loss of yet another child. Charcoal, in an enclosed place, where's your common sense?

sensei258 - Amen. Sadly, this little girl would be alive today if her parents had any.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are the parents insane? Did they not know that this is a standard suicide setup in Japan? (Smoll closed space + charcoal briquettes). Incredible!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

WiiliB - Incredible, isn't it? I sincerely hope that those who don't see any problem with this don't have kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did they not know that this is a standard suicide setup in Japan?

That's the question, isn't it. One would hope they don't know this, and that it was just through a lack of knowledge that they made this mistake - in which case it's a very sad story.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

He left the burning charcoal in the tent with his wife and two daughters early Saturday, then went back late in the afternoon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who doesn't see a problem with it? The fact that a child died means there was a problem. But contrary to what people would like to believe, not every problem means someone was at fault.

Parents were at fault. Charcoal in an enclosed space is a no-no I learned as a child.

Common sense, my friend. Common sense...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Common sense" is subjective. Might be common sense to campers and others, but not so "common" to another group of people.

If you live in a big city with lots of tourists, you see many things that might be "common sense" to city foks, but no so "common" to people not used to living in the big cities, and vice versa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Badge213 - I've been camping probably a total of 10 nights in my life. Never in cold weather. Yet I knew long ago the dangers of charcoal in a tent.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Explain, if someone doesn't know that burning charcoal in a tent is bad, how are they supposed to know that burning charcoal in a tent is bad? Are you trying to say that this is some sort of knowledge that is carried in our DNA, or some other instinctual method?

If you live in a big city with lots of tourists, you see many things that might be "common sense" to city foks, but no so "common" to people not used to living in the big cities, and vice versa.

Exactly. Common sense is only common to the group that teaches it, and is rarely 'sense'.

I've been camping probably a total of 10 nights in my life. Never in cold weather. Yet I knew long ago the dangers of charcoal in a tent.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Explain, if someone doesn't know that burning charcoal in a tent is bad, how are they supposed to know that burning charcoal in a tent is bad? Are you trying to say that this is some sort of knowledge that is carried in our DNA, or some other instinctual method?

Stranger has a point but he's embellished it a bit. Carbon monoxide is both odourless and colourless, so there is no way to percieve the danger unless one is aware that a) carbon monoxide causes asphyxiation, and b) there is a source of carbon dioxide in an enclosed space. Moreover, as the oxygen content of the enclosed space decreases, carbon monoxide emissions increase.

All heaters in Japan which vent flue gasses directly into the room are labelled with warnings telling people to air the room once or twice an hour by opening windows. Anyone who has ever lit a barbecue knows of the smoke emitted until it settles down - these gasses don't just disappear, they just become invisible.

Let's face it, the parents should have known better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Moreover, as the oxygen content of the enclosed space decreases, carbon monoxide emissions increase.

This isn't exactly correct. What happens is that the carbon emissions increase, they displace the oxygen. This is actually what kills people.

Let's face it, the parents should have known better.

They should have, but the question is whether or not they actually did.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Well, again, even if they were completely ignorant about basic chemisty, how can they possibly be ignorant about the new stories of people committing suicide in exactly this way in Japan --- in small rooms, in cars, and yes, also tents have been reported. Do they seriously not own a tv or radio and never read a newspaper? I mean, come on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Errr, the only time I read about people burning charcoal in an enclosed space is when they want to commit suicide. Are the authorities entirely certain they were only camping?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Errr, the only time I read about people burning charcoal in an enclosed space is when they want to commit suicide. Are the authorities entirely certain they were only camping?

Of course they aren't - they haven't had time to do a full investigation. That will take time.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

NO WAAAY any parent cannot know the risks of burning anything in an enclosed unventilated place.

Sure there is.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This isn't exactly correct. What happens is that the carbon emissions increase, they displace the oxygen. This is actually what kills people.

I think A.N. Other's description was more accurate. It's not an issue of "displacing" oxygen. Oxygen is consumed in the combustion process and is "replaced" by either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. Generally, carbon dioxide is produced when something burns efficiently and there is sufficient oxygen present. We don't know about this tent, but in my experience, tents are usually ventilated. So, for example, a gas burner in a tent might be safe. (I wouldn't risk it.) Charcoal briquettes are notoriously inefficient at burning, and even in the presence of oxygen produce high levels of carbon monoxide. Thus their popularity for suicides.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isn't it feasible, that the husband was trying to 'off' his family. Just saying, find it suspicious that he leaves the tent, to go home. (Expects a hufty retort from strangerland below).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder why the guy went home by himself early in the morning. This might have been a group suicide attempt with Mr Mizoguchi chickening out. Or he might have been trying to kill the others. I would check the level of carbon monoxide in his blood to verify his story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Check the husbands insurance records, sounds like someone was setup. husband went home, left the family there with charcoal burning, woke up later then went back. to his surprise..please, there is more to this story that will come out later..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kotatsu and futon were used to sleep warm, Burning charcoals in hibachi was covered with surrounding ash to extinguish.

From kitchen, red burned charcoals were placed in kotatsu bottom of full ash. Top covered and Kotatsu will be wrapped. Then that was placed on feet area of bottom futon and entire top is covered by top futon to sleep or reading books. But what I wrote is what we did in Japan before American introduced room stove.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wow…sad story. I hope the family can recover and get on with their lives soon. its a shame something so innocent can be so costly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So his company didnt have any electricity? Why were they camping on a balcony?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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