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Investigation determines carbon monoxide death of Alberta boy accidental

RCMP say a faulty water heater is to blame for a buildup of carbon monoxide gas that killed a 12-year-old boy.

Trai Schlichter, 12, died in hospital on Feb. 4 after being exposed to extremely high levels of carbon monoxide at the Airdrie apartment complex where he lived.

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Trai Schlichter, 12, died in hospital on Feb. 4 after being exposed to extremely high levels of carbon monoxide at the Airdrie apartment complex where he lived.

AIRDRIE, Alta. — RCMP say a faulty water heater is to blame for a buildup of carbon monoxide gas in a Calgary-area apartment block that killed a 12-year-old boy.

Police say the on-demand heater in the Airdrie suite was not ventilating properly last Sunday, which led to the boy being overcome by the colourless and odourless gas.

The child was taken to hospital in critical condition and died.

The Mounties, Airdrie Fire Department, Atco Gas, and city of Airdrie plumbing and gas inspectors investigated and police determined the CO buildup was accidental.

The 136-unit, four-storey complex was evacuated after emergency crews arrived.

Two other members of the boy's family were treated in hospital, while one other resident of the block was treated at a recreation centre where some tenants had gone after the evacuation.

Police are stressing the importance of installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in homes and workplaces.

They say a CO detector should be placed on every floor of a home and within three to five metres of bedrooms.

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