A tragic incident happened this morning (17 September) at Shell Samagagah PLUS highway northbound where two female college students died while another two women are in a critical state due to the inhalation of carbon monoxide after sleeping in a car with the engine and air conditioning turned on.
In the incident that happened at about 1.40 am, Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi, 21, and Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri, 21, each died at the scene and at Seberang Jaya Hospital (HSJ). The other two are currently being treated at hospitals in Lumut and Kuala Lumpur.
According to Seberang Perai Tengah District Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Shafee Abd Samad, the incident happened when the four friends stopped to rest at the petrol station last night, reported Astro Awani.
“CCTV footage revealed that the Honda Odyssey car driven by the twins stopped and parked at the petrol station at 8.30pm,” he said.
“All four of them got out of the car to buy food and got back into the car.”
Shafee said the incident was noticed by Ayuni Shazwanie’s father who found their car at the scene. Earlier, the man who lives in Kedah went out to look for his daughter when she did not return home after she last sent a message to her mother at 9.15 pm.
“Ayuni Shazwanie’s father found the car where her daughter and her friends were in at the petrol station and was shocked to find that the car’s engine was still on but they were unconscious,” he said.
“The victim’s father then contacted the medical staff and the case was classified as sudden death.”
He said all the victims came from Sungai Petani and Gurun and were on their way home after a holiday in Pulau Jerejak, Penang yesterday (16 September) in conjunction with the Malaysia Day holiday.
He said, all the victims were good friends and studied at the same college majoring in pharmacy and are now waiting for convocation day.
There have been many instances where individuals die in their car after falling asleep with the car engine and air conditioning on. This happens due to suffocation from carbon monoxide poisoning as the same air is recycled within the car.
There is also a possibility of the exhaust fumes entering your car where oxygen levels drop drastically. What makes it worse is that carbon monoxide is an odourless gas, hence, you wouldn’t even realise you are breathing in the poisonous gas.
Carbon monoxide can kill you as it reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to your cells and each of them dies due to lack of oxygen. Some might argue that keeping the windows open might prevent carbon monoxide accumulation, but this only works partially, according to Drive Spark.
Perhaps, what you can do is avoid sleeping in the car with the engine on. Instead, take a short break outside the car where the air is fresher.