A 12 year-old boy died and his friend was injured after they inhaled gas from a camping gas can bought from a supermarket in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
The unusual case of breathing in gas, later identified as butane, is a new thing for teenagers beside inhaling glue or other deodorants.
This first case of inhaling gas from butane can bought from Lotus Express Khamsakae-saeng branch was revealed by Dr Viraphol Wongpraphan, head of the Occupational Health and Environmental Disease Control Office at Nakhon Ratchasima Public Health Office.
He said the Grade 6 boy, whose name was withheld, died from inhaling too much butane gas which caused sudden death.
The gas is harmful to health the same as cooking gas and can cause brain damage if over inhaled, he said.
Inhaling butane is similar to other deodorants or glue as it makes one become dizzy and misplaced like many drugs.
Another injured boy who was rushed to hospital unconscious was treated in time and he admitted that after buying the butane can from the supermarket, they sprayed the gas into plastic bags and then covered their heads with the bags to inhale.
But he said his friend inhaled too much.
He said he learned of this practice from older friends.
He saw them inhaling this new thing three times in the past and none of them were hurt.
He added that he would never try the gas again.
The other boy was later discharged from hospital after recovering from the inhalation of the gas.
Meanwhile local police said they would not pursue any legal case against anybody as there is no law to deal with both seller and buyer of the gas can.
This may be a new thing in Thailand but inhaling butane gas has been going on for years in other parts of the world with often similar tragic results. Young people should be warned about the possible lethal consequences of inhaling butane gas.
Our sincere condolences go out the boy’s family.