Two students die of carbon monoxide poisoning, three hospitalized in Greece

Two Greek university students died of carbon monoxide poisoning and another three of their classmates were hospitalized in the central Greek city of Larissa, local authorities announced on Friday.

According to police information, the five youths had used a makeshift heating stove to warm up their home in the city cente on Thursday.

With all windows closed, they gradually fell unconscious within hours in the indoors space. They were discovered by a friend who stopped by.

Two students died at the age of 21 and 22 were from the nearby city of Chalkida and the Aegean Sea island of Crete respectively. The other three were from Athens, Crete and the northwestern city of Yannena were transferred to a local hospital and were in a coma.

The tragedy came two months after a similar incident in northern Greece, where three children died when fire started from a wooden stove in an old farmhouse.

Due to the acute debt crisis which has plagued the country since late 2009, many austerity-hit Greeks who have seen their incomes shrinking by 20-40 percent in recent years could not afford expensive heating oil this winter and opted for more economical ways of heating, such as wooden stoves.



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