(AP) - A man and his wife were asphyxiated by a natural gas leak in Armenia, an emergency official said Monday - the fourth such incident this month.
The deaths of the couple, aged 59 and 55, brings the death toll from gas leaks and poisonings this year to 16 – with 12 in December alone.
A spokesman for the emergency situations ministry said neighbors found the two bodies on Sunday at their home in the town of Ashtarak, north of Yerevan. Preliminary information showed that a poorly installed homemade gas heater and an illegal connection to municipal gas pipes were to blame.
Many people in the poor ex-Soviet republic use homemade gas heaters, sometimes tapping illegally into gas lines, because their homes lack heaters, which are expensive.