Police indict workshop owner and employee for gas poisoning deaths

Police indict workshop owner and employee for gas poisoning deaths
Police indict workshop owner and employee for gas poisoning deaths

The Civil Police of Santa Catarina indicted two people for the deaths of four young people who remained inside a BMW car, with the windows closed and the air conditioning on, at the Balneário Camboriú bus station, on January 1st.

According to the investigation, they inhaled carbon monoxide, a gas that has no smell and kills, due to a defect in a customization service carried out by a mechanical workshop in Aparecida de Goiânia, in Goiás. The owner and an employee of this workshop were indicted for four culpable (unintentional) homicides. The report tries to locate the defense of the two.

The four young people – Gustavo Pereira Silveira Elias, aged 24, Tiago de Lima Ribeiro, aged 21, Karla Aparecida dos Santos, aged 19, and Nicolas Kovaleski, aged 16 – were from the Minas Gerais city of Paracatu, but had lived for about a month in São José, a municipality in the metropolitan region of Florianópolis, with family.

The four went to the Balneário Camboriú bus station on January 1 to pick up Gustavo’s girlfriend, a 19-year-old girl who lives in Minas and traveled by bus to Santa Catarina.

The group remained in the car waiting for the young woman, with the windows closed and the air conditioning on. When she arrived, they reported feeling sick and feeling unwell, and decided to stay in the vehicle for a while longer. She stayed away, and found that the group only got worse. So she asked the police for help. The group was rescued, but died.

The BMW where the four young people died: according to the police, customization carried out in a mechanic workshop in Goiás caused carbon monoxide poisoning Photograph: PM-SC

The Civil Police found that a customization carried out in a workshop in Aparecida de Goiânia to make the car more powerful and with greater noise caused the problem, because a part broke and the carbon monoxide produced by the engine, instead of leaving through the exhaust, entered the car through the air conditioning ducts.

“The investigation showed that the part that broke was installed in July 2023, and that the service was carried out by an individual without any technical training, and under the supervision and control of the owner of the establishment”, recorded the Civil Police.

When a person inhales carbon monoxide, the oxygen and hydrogen in the blood are replaced by the gas. The first symptoms of poisoning are eye irritation, headache, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. According to forensics, the bodies showed 50% carbon monoxide saturation – at 40% the gas can already cause death.

The owner of the workshop, aged 35, and an employee, aged 48, were charged with four counts of manslaughter. O Estadão tries to speak to the defense of the accused.

The article is in Portuguese

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