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Ex-tenants face charges over gas leak deaths

The Local · 29 Jul 2011, 09:19

Published: 29 Jul 2011 09:19 GMT+02:00

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Authorities said the former tenants, a woman and her adult son, had previously blocked up a ventilation outlet, possibly causing the deadly gas to flow into the Köpenick apartment when the heater was used.

They told authorities that they stuffed the exhaust pipe leading from a gas boiler several years ago to prevent drafts and cold.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas that is highly toxic to humans in significant quantities. It can be produced by old-fashioned heating systems and prove deadly when it leaks into confined spaces.

Firemen discovered the bodies of a 27-year-old mother and her four young children, as well as the woman's 40-year-old partner, after breaking down the front door Monday. They were called by an acquaintance of the family.

Police and prosecutors have said more investigation is needed. They are further examining the apartment's gas boiler.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:28 July 29, 2011 by freechoice
But why was the woman and her adult son alright after all these years? Have they moved in recently or long time ago?

Why wasn't the owners of the home responsible when the tenants for making alterations and handover the apartment?
11:04 July 29, 2011 by auniquecorn

The apartment complex belongs to the gov´t.

nugh said.
11:29 July 29, 2011 by lucksi

The previous tenants blocked the exhaust pipe to stop the draftiness of the home after they couldn't use it anymore as their gas was cut off because they didn't pay. They used electrical space heaters instead.

So the new people moved in, giant SNAFU happened when the gas heater was used again. Apparently there were some regulations to follow (what doesn't have regulations in Germany?) but the blocked pipe was overlooked.

So instead of the gas utility or the state as landlord or the chimney sweeper or whoever was responsible for checking; they are charging the previous renters.
12:56 July 29, 2011 by freechoice
law must be in place and enforced to ensure house is safe for accommodation!! okay who has been sleeping on the job this time?
16:23 July 29, 2011 by Flint
Why is the gas on in July?
16:30 July 29, 2011 by Vadis
Well its the Government that should be responsible for the tragedy! When a tenents moves the owner, landlord or in this case government representative comes by and inspect the resident. Now it seem to me that either the Landlord, Owner or Government Representative did not do his or her job efficiently, because if they had, the tenents would be required to handle any problem before they could leave, and move on! This is what we call in America "Passing the Buck" The inspector should be charged, not the former tenants!
17:09 July 29, 2011 by finanzdoktor
Which is why it is always good to have a home/apartment inspection prior to the finalization, to ensure such things as these are taken care of, before the new owners/tenants move in.
17:22 July 29, 2011 by lucksi
The gas is on in Juli because most gas "heaters" are actually there to provide hot water for the radiators as well as hot water for all the faucets.
18:07 July 29, 2011 by oldMoslin
@y Vadis I fully agree with you.

Whyy teh tenants why not the Govt or the land lord who earns money from these Flats?

I have experienced if you are a foreigner and the land lord is a German Crap and you are weak in German language he wil put some extra bills and suck you in every manners.

I am surprised these greedy land lord did not check thge gas line and now getting some scape goats ( ex tenants)!
18:22 July 29, 2011 by catjones
All they have to do is apply the 'former tenants blocking the gas vent law'. It's right there in the penal code: Section II, sub-section IV, paragraph 7, second to the last sentence. Every German child is taught this. Why do I have to be the one to look this stuff up?
18:42 July 29, 2011 by oldMoslin
@catjones whatis the Section II, sub-section IV, paragraph 7, ?

What does it say? I am not German but h´faced lot of troubles with the landlord.
06:22 July 30, 2011 by crunchy2k
I have to go along with everyone else here....The previous tenants are not at fault. The person responsible for renting the home is. He/she presented this home as safe and habitable under German law.
06:50 July 30, 2011 by oldWine
Does the law enforcing agencies filed investigation against the responsible makler or the landlord? Why tenants.

In germany weak people is always the scape goat of every crime. One will commit a bad thing an inncoent will be found to suffer.

Unfortunately I cannot speak that good German would like to understand what other German newspaper reader do sa about this?
09:23 July 30, 2011 by Landmine
The pipe was stuffed a few years ago, so why did this happen now and not in previous winters when the boiler would have been used during the winter? Something is missing in the story as usual....
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