Teen dead after 'huffing' butane
A 17-year-old Christchurch girl died shortly after she was seen "huffing" what is thought to be butane, police say.
Emergency services were yesterday afternoon called to a park on the corner of Hansens Lane and Hayes Avenue, in Upper Riccarton, where a witness said a group of girls had been inhaling what looked like gas from canisters.
Detective Sergeant Craig Farrant said attempts to resuscitate the girl, both by members of the public and ambulance staff, were unsuccessful.
He said initial enquires indicated that the group were inhaling butane gas, commonly known as "huffing", in the area prior to the incident.
Farrant said enquiries will be made into the sale of butane to youths in the area.
The identity of the girl has not been released as next of kin have yet to be notified.
While the cause of death was yet to be confirmed, the incident highlights the dangers of people sniffing butane or "huffing" as it is known, Farrant said.
Cherie Storey, who lives over the road from the park, told Radio New Zealand that ambulance officers worked on the girl for half an hour before she was taken away.
Storey said she heard a woman screaming 'don't let her die'.
Police are not seeking anyone else in connection with the death, which will now be referred to the coroner. A post-mortem is expected to be held today.
* May 2012 - Darius Logan Claxton, 12, of Christchurch died after huffing butane.
* April 2009 - James Cessford, 19, of Dunedin, died after huffing butane.
* October 2007 - Nathan Cunningham dies after choking on his own vomit while huffing LPG.
* December 2006 - A Milton 15-year-old dies after inhaling butane in a tent on the shore of Lake Benmore.
* October 2006 - A Blenheim teenager dies and four friends are admitted to hospital with burns after the car in which they were huffing LPG exploded when one lit a cigarette.
* 2005 - Two Nelson teenagers, aged 19 and 15, die within months of each other, both after inhaling butane.
* December 2003 - A cylinder of butane and an aerosol can are found near an 18-year-old's body in a booth at Christchurch's Westpac Centre on New Year's Eve.
* November 2003 - A 16-year-old girl dies after inhaling the contents of a can of air freshener at a Christchurch party.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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