Northern Ireland

Newcastle, County Down: Man dies following gas incident

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Media captionThe Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident

A 60-year-old man has died at a house in Newcastle, County Down, which was the scene of an incident involving carbon monoxide poisoning.

Five people, including two paramedics were taken to hospital from the property on the Castlewellan Road on Friday night, after suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said their crews became unwell while attending the scene.

Four ambulances attended.

Image caption Five people, including two paramedics were taken to hospital from the property after suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The five people received treatment at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, and were later discharged.

Image caption A multi-agency investigation is now underway

John McPoland from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service told the BBC that paramedics were initially called to the scene after receiving reports that a 60-year-old man was suffering from shortness of breath.

When the crew arrived the man's health had deteriorated and he became unconscious. Mr McPoland said the man was later declared dead at the scene "despite the best efforts of paramedics".

Mr McPoland said while delivering treatment, two paramedics, as well as three other people who were also in the property, started to feel unwell "with chest pain, headaches and nausea".

Image caption A multi-agency investigation is now under way

"The crew recognised that these were potential symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning and immediately called the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS)," he said.

"The NIFRS arrived to take readings and their readings indicated high levels of carbon monoxide."

Mr McPoland also commended the paramedics' dedication: "The actions of the crew last night were unbelievable. They undoubtedly saved the lives of themselves and three other people.

"More remarkable than all that, after they were discharged from hospital they reported back to the station to fulfil the rest of their duties."

Police have said that a multi-agency investigation is now under way and that a post-mortem examination is due to take place to determine the cause of death.

Image caption Four ambulances were sent to the incident