Friends of a 12-year-old Christchurch boy who died after sniffing butane say it has made them realise the dangers of "huffing" the gas.
Christchurch boy Darius Logan Claxton died in a New Brighton car park on Friday night.
He was believed to have been with a group who had been sniffing the gas from a canister.
Emergency services were called to the scene at 11.20pm but attempts to resuscitate Darius were unsuccessful and he died at the scene.
His friends laid flowers where he died yesterday.
Daniel Hart, who tried to administer CPR to Darius before the ambulance arrived, told 3News that his friend's death should be a warning to others.
"It was really sad to see him die. I tried to give him CPR and stuff but it didn't work."
He said it was Darius' first time sniffing the gas.
"He just had one little bit and then he fell over right there. It was sad.
"I wouldn't do it. It's not good. It could freeze your insides," Daniel said.
Butane is a gas sold bottled as a fuel used for cooking and camping. It is also used as propellant in aerosol sprays.
The National Poisons Centre says children as young as 6 have been treated after experimentation with solvents which can kill instantly, causing heart failure, suffocation, explosions, choking on vomit, and fatal accidents such as drowning.
Facebook pages have been set up to pay tribute to Darius.
A Facebook page called "RIP Darius Claxton" had more than 100 members yesterday.
"rip darius xx i love u and willl never forget you bru ill remember all those good and funny times we had together," read one tribute.
"R.I.P my lil bro im gona miss u homie :( u were taking to young love u my lil bro Rest In Paradise c u soon homie," read another.
The owners of a Christchurch store that sold butane to the 12-year-old had been spoken to by police, Detective Sergeant Earle Borrell said.
Police had not yet determined whether charges could be laid in relation to the sale, Borrell said.
A police spokesman said the other young people with Darius when he died had been spoken to by police that night.
"There are a small number of other witnesses still to be followed up," the spokesman said yesterday.
Police said the cause of death was still to be confirmed and an autopsy would be carried out today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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