Woman in carbon monoxide poisoning case out of coma

A relative showing a picture of the friends taken in Pulau Jerejak. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A 21-year-old woman, who was left unconscious after napping in a parked car with three others, has regained consciousness after spending close to a week at a military hospital in Kuala Lumpur, police said today.

College student Nur Aqilah Mohd Safwan was put into a medically induced coma and placed in a hyperbaric chamber to reduce the carbon monoxide levels in her blood.

She was rushed to the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Military Hospital in Wangsa Maju, which is equipped with such special equipment, to undergo treatment.

In last Wednesday’s incident, Aqilah’s twin sister, Nor Adilah, and friends Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi and Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri died after sleeping in their Honda Odyssey car at a petrol station in Butterworth.

Fariesha was found dead in the car, while Ayunie died at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

Adilah died while receiving treatment at the Lumut Military Hospital. They were all aged 21 and had studied to be pharmacists at the same college.

The women were taking a short break at the petrol station after a visit to Jerejak Island, Penang. They were on their way home to Sungai Petani, Kedah.

“Aqilah finally opened her eyes this evening, waking up from her coma. She recognised her family members who had come to visit her. She nodded her head in acknowledging their presence,” North Seberang Perai police chief Shafee Abd Samad said when contacted.

Shafee said checks by a Honda technician found the car they were in had a leak in the exhaust area and emitted a lot of fumes, which are believed to have seeped into the car’s cabin.

He said the cause of death of the three girls was due to carbon monoxide poisoning and the case remained classified as sudden death.

An automotive expert told FMT that carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by modified exhaust pipes and cars over 10 years old.