Girl 'killed by BBQ fumes in tent'

News Shopper: Carbon monoxide poisoning victim Hannah Thomas-Jones Carbon monoxide poisoning victim Hannah Thomas-Jones

A 14-year-old girl was killed by fumes from a barbecue placed inside a tent to keep her warm during a family camping trip, an inquest has heard.

Shropshire Coroner's Court heard that Hannah Thomas-Jones succumbed to the "silent killer" of carbon monoxide poisoning after gases from the barbecue collected in the area where she was sleeping.

Hannah, from Handforth, near Wilmslow, Cheshire, was pronounced dead in May last year after paramedics were called to a campsite in Bucknell, south Shropshire.

Three other family members, including Hannah's mother and stepfather, were treated in hospital for the effects of carbon monoxide produced by the embers of the bucket-type barbecue.

The inquest in Wem, Shropshire, heard that family members took precautions to guard against an accidental fire when they moved the barbecue into the porch of the tent, but were unaware of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner John Ellery told members of Hannah's family: "It's quite clear that you and many, many people were unaware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"The risk you were addressing when you brought that barbecue in, in its dying embers, was against fire. That was a risk you acted against, but sadly what was happening was that carbon monoxide was coming from those embers.

"I accept that those vapours went to the top of the tent and probably found their way down to the far end, where tragically Hannah's head was.

"That may well be the explanation why it was she who was so tragically affected."

After recording his verdict, Mr Ellery offered his condolences to Hannah's family, and expressed hopes that the inquest would serve the secondary function of raising awareness of the dangers posed by carbon monoxide.

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