Ambulance exhaust leak leaves one dead, three others unconscious

PORT DICKSON: A staff of the Bukit Pelanduk health clinic here died while three others lost consciousness after they were believed to have inhaled carbon monoxide from the leaking exhaust pipe of an ambulance they were in.

Negri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Ahmad Mukhlis Mokhtar said rescuers rushed to the scene after receiving a call about the incident at about 9.50am yesterday.

“Preliminary investigations by the Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Unit found that there were no leaks in the health clinic and the oxygen level in the building was normal.

“It was also found that the four victims had fainted inside the ambulance,” he told reporters here.

Meanwhile, the department’s Hazmat Unit head deputy superintendent Mohammad Idris said the 29-year-old victim had initially complained of chest pains before fainting at the clinic.

Three of his colleagues then lifted him into the ambulance to be sent to Hospital Port Dickson, which is 33km away.

“However, upon arrival at the hospital, when the back door of the ambulance was opened, the three male staff who were with the victim were found unconscious, while he (who had chest pains) had died,” he said.

It normally takes an ambulance about 20 to 30 minutes to get from the clinic to Hospital Port Dickson.

However, he said the exact cause of death of the victim could not be determined without an autopsy.

He said the driver and another staff member at the front of the ambulance did not suffer any injuries and the other three were in stable condition.

Mohammad added that further investigations were ongoing, but confirmed that the ambulance’s exhaust system was leaking.

He said that a similar incident also happened Wednesday, where a health worker fainted while in the same ambulance, but his condition was reported to be stable. — Bernama

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