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15 Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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15 people in northeast China's Jilin Province died of carbon monoxide poisoning on Thursday. 32 others have been hospitalized, 8 in critical condition, according to the provincial health department.

The department said there was a gas leak in a number of residential areas in six cities in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, including Yanji, Longjing, Tumen, Helong, Wangqing and Antu.

Preliminary investigations showed that the carbon monoxide leak was caused by low air pressure in recent days, which resulted in the incomplete burning of coal used for cooking and heating by locals.

In many areas in North China, coal is the main fuel used for cooking and heating by rural residents and urban dwellers who live in old residential buildings.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2006)

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