13-Year-Old Boy Dies Of Carbon Monoxide From Hotel Pool

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You would think that one of the safest places for your children to play would be inside a hotel where you’re staying, right? Well, this indoor pool proved to be more deadly than a happy spring break dip in the pool.

Thirteen-year-old Bryan Douglas Watts was found dead and 8 others were hospitalized after a group of people were found unconscious around a hotel’s indoor pool in southern Michigan.

Fire officials said they believe the cause was carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to NBC News, the poisoned children were discovered lying on the floor around an indoor pool deck.

Eight people were treated at local hospitals, including first responders who helped unconscious victims, according to police in Niles, Michigan, a town of about 11,000 just north of the state’s border with Indiana.

One woman told NBC that “all the kids were surrounding the pool passed out” and throwing up and that one youth called his mother to come down to the pool area and said children were “making weird noises” and felt dizzy. Another woman who was staying in the hotel told ABC 57 that she heard yelling and said “there were literally five bodies” lying next to the pool.

Jessica Hines, a spokeswoman for Lakeland Hospital in Niles, told CNN that one other person was “confirmed dead on arrival.”

The Niles Police Department identified the deceased as 13-year-old Bryan Douglas Watts of Niles.

Six other children were taken to Memorial South Bend Hospital in Indiana, police said.

They include five children found unconscious alongside Watts at the Quality Inn & Suites hotel pool. Their ages range from 12 to 14 years old, Niles police said.

Another child, who police said had just left the pool area, was found unresponsive in a first-floor room.

Two others treated for carbon monoxide-related exposure included a Niles police officer and Berrien County deputy.

Known as a true silent killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is produced when a fuel is burned. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, it can replace the oxygen in red blood cells and can lead to tissue damage or death.

At least 500 people are killed from carbon monoxide poisoning a year. A detector can range anywhere between $20 and $65.

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But, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 13 states require installation of carbon monoxide detectors in hotels and motels.

When police arrived on the scene, they said that carbon monoxide levels at the hotel were 800 parts per million, over eight times the acceptable rate. US standards for carbon monoxide are 35 parts per million for a one-hour exposure.

Niles Fire Department Captain Don Wise attributed the incident to a faulty pool heater.

“The ventilation system on the heater had issues, the exhaust was not functioning properly,” said Wise. “Our mechanical inspector verified that. The hotel is shut down now until repairs are made.”