Belfast Telegraph

200 calls after gas leak warning

Almost 200 callers have inundated a gas helpline in Northern Ireland after a leak killed two teenagers at a seaside apartment, it has been revealed.

Property owners on the north coast and surrounding areas were on Monday night urged to switch off liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) appliances fitted by a company based in Coleraine, Co Londonderry.

Staff involved in the examination of an apartment at neighbouring Castlerock, where the two boys died last week, revealed an appliance inside a flat at Tunnel Brae Court had not been working properly.

The helpline alert was issued just hours after the funeral of Aaron Davidson, 18, from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, who died with his school friend Neil McFerran, 18. They had been spending time at the apartment awaiting their A-level results.

A third teenager, Matthew McGaw, also 18, survived the leaking poisonous fumes.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) announced that it has had a "strong response" to its emergency number since it was established on Monday at 6pm. "Over 185 calls have been received so far from concerned members of the public," a spokeswoman added.

There have been no further hospital admissions related to the alert, a spokeswoman for the Northern Health and Social Services Trust said.

The HSENI said it was continuing to carry out checks in other premises in Castlerock and Coleraine.

Later, it emerged that HSENI officials were investigating reports of another potential carbon monoxide poisoning incident in nearby Portstewart. It is understood a number of people in a property in the Portmore Road area of the seaside town contacted doctors after feeling unwell.

A HSENI spokeswoman confirmed they were examining the property as part of the Castlerock investigation.

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