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January 26, 2010

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Forgotten phone saves 5 from death

A FORGOTTEN cell phone saved the lives of five people yesterday after they had passed out from a gas leak in their new apartment.

A colleague who returned just after midnight to get his phone noticed a nauseating smell when he got to the door and found the five unconscious inside.

The migrant workers, who had been celebrating getting their new apartment, were in stable condition yesterday after treatment in a hospital's hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

The gas poisoning was caused by a faulty water heater, said one of the victims, surnamed Zhang.

He noticed there was something wrong with the heater while taking a shower but didn't know what.0020

But afterwards he passed out and woke up in hospital not knowing what had happened, he said.

A director of the company which provided the apartment for its workers said the firm would improve the condition of the apartment and enforce safety education for its employees.

The incident happened about 12:40am in a residential area on Xiangyin Road in Yangpu District.

The man surnamed Wang who saved his colleagues' lives said he had returned to get his phone after the party.

The smell hit him when he opened the door, he said, and all his colleagues had passed out, with some even foaming at the mouth. He called for help and the five were soon being treated in hospital.

One of the victims said that heater had been on since noon on Sunday and the windows had all been kept shut.


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