Three versions of Barysau tragedy

Тры версіі трагедыі ў Барысаве

The main reason for the death of six people in a military town Lyadzishcha in Barysau is a household gas poisoning. This was indicated by the neighbors of the victims. The company "Barysaumezhraygaz" is under urgent investigation with the participation of high officials from Minsk. "We currently do not have top management here, all have gone to Barysau,"  said Minablgaz official to Euroradio.

Currently, there are three versions of the tragedy.

1. Negligence on the part of the gas company staff

This is evidenced by the words of the neighbors of victims' families. "I woke up from an awful headache. I had ringing in my ears and blurred vision. I was exhausted. I opened the windows and woke up my husband and child. They felt better than I did... I called the gas company. They came, did the measurements, said that the flat smelled of butane, but the concentration of natural gas did not exceed the norm. I let in more air to the apartment. The smell was the worst  in the bathroom and toilet. I was feeling worse. I called the gas servicemen for the second time, but again they told me that there was no gas leak. I was very much afraid for the child and began to call the communal services office. Its staff said that the apartment smelled not like gas, but household cleaning products, bleach etc. But I had not been using bleach. They also told me to deal with the problem myself. When I felt worse, I called an ambulance, but for some reason there began to check if I had had a concussion. They found no symptoms of poisoning. And at nine o'clock in the evening the police rang the doorbell and told us that in the apartments beneath ours all have died," witness Anastasia told tut.by.

2. Sudden failure of the gas equipment

This version is backed up by the fact that the victims were found in their apartments in conventional poses just like the people who are not even aware of the danger. The family of pensioners died watching TV, and the children of other families were at the desk and in the bathroom. As the toxicologist told Euroradio, this could happen only through big concentration of gas in the air. "People just lose consciousness and die, if there is a high concentration of gas, - head of toxicology of the Hrodna hospital Yury Apanovich explained what happens to a person during a gas poisoning. - There are no hallucinations induced by the gas. But I do not understand how they could get poisoned. Its concentration grows gradually. It also has a smell. When you turn on the stove, you do smell gas. How could they not smell it? Unless, of course, the concentration was high and they quickly lost consciousness..."

Despite the unusual nature of the incident, it has repeatedly happened in Russia. For example, on December 21, 2015 in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug of Russia,  five people got poisoned by gas, all of them died in the apartment, a gas leak occurred at night from a gas boiler, people died in their sleep. Only two weeks ago in the Omsk region gas poisoning killed a family - a man, his wife and their 14-year-old son. Next to the bodies the rescuers found the glasses with water and aspirin.


3. Death was caused by the carbon monoxide and not natural gas

This version was told kp.by by the Barysau staff of the "Minskablgaz" branch. According to them, the stove pipe at the entrance could become clogged with ice. As a result, the thrust disappeared and the products of gas combustion (including carbon monoxide) from the house entrance remained in flats. Carbon monoxide is odorless, it cannot be detected without any special equipment. With a relatively small concentration of carbon monoxide in the air, the person loses consciousness and dies some time later. With a particularly dangerous concentrations of more than 1%, death occurs even in a few minutes.

Versions about the carbon monoxide is supported by to the Department of Energy. "During the examination of the apartments in which people died, the natural gas was not detected. A possible cause of death is carbon monoxide poisoning due to the failure of the ventilation systems. Currently, the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus is investigating the deaths," stated in the Ministry of Energy on its official Facebook page.

Cases of death from carbon monoxide poisoning are recorded annually in Belarus, but it usually happens in private homes rather than in urban apartments.

 

The exact causes of the tragedy in Barysau will be known after the investigation of the Investigative Committee. Its representatives are working at the scene and with the management and workers of the "Barysaumezhraygaz."