Tragedy hit a group of 13 youngsters from Alappuzha who were on a private pleasure trip to Kodaikanal, when two among them were found dead in their room on Sunday.
The deceased has been identified as Vipin (25) son of Gajendran from SN Puram in Kadalkode and Thomas (21) son of Cherian Kochumuniakal of Thiruvambadi. Three others were found unconscious, and later shifted to the Government Hospital.
The youngsters were staying at Kevinâ€™s Cottage near Vattacanal, six kilometres away from Kodaikanal town.
Speaking to The News Minute, the Kodaikanal police said that their primary assessment of the situation has led them to believe that the deceased and their friends had grilled chicken using coal in their room on Saturday night.
â€śThey had bought chicken from the local market to grill it for dinner. As is usually done, they used coal for the same. Unfortunately, they forgot to air out the room after the meal. This could have caused the deaths,â€ť an officer from the Kodiakanal police station told TNM.
Vipin may also have used the charcoal smoke to warm up the room, as it was too cold at night, he added.
The actual cause of death can however be ascertained only after post-mortem and viscera results are obtained, a process that could take up to ten days.
According to the police, the remaining three who were admitted in the hospital are said to be recovering.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified smoke from domestic fires as the deadliest. A WHO study also revealed that inhalation of smoke from domestic fires caused 4 million deaths in a year. Burning charcoal briquettes in a poorly ventilated space can generate toxic carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations.1 CO is a colourless, odourless and non-irritating gas with no warning properties and under conditions where there is restricted oxygen, can lead to asphyxiation.
Coal and charcoal are widely used in restaurants to prepare tandoori, grilled and barbeque culinary delights that enjoy a huge market demand in India.