Coal burner
The actual coal burner that claimed the lives of the two maids in Bur Dubai by carbon monoxide poisoning Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: Two Asian housemaids died after inhaling poisonous smoke from burning coal while sleeping in their room at their sponsor’s villa in Bur Dubai, an official said.

The two women inhaled carbon monoxide from the coal, that was burning in a metal bowl in their room to keep warm at night on Saturday January 18.

Colonel Ahmad Al Merri, director of the Crime Scene Department at Dubai Police said the villa’s owner informed them about the incident, saying his two housemaids were lying unconscious in their room.

“He thought the maids left the house and went to their room. He found them dead in their beds and alerted Dubai Police. Emirati experts from our department confirmed the housemaids inhaled the carbon monoxide as they burnt coal in the bowl to stay warm. They died during their sleep,” Col Al Merri said.

Burning coal

Paramedics transferred the housemaids to hospital and gave first-aid, but they were already dead.

Experts from Crime Scene Department noticed that windows and doors in the newly-built house were locked, blocking the carbon monoxide from spreading.

Col Al Merri said six people died last year in the same way, but the two maids’ death was the first incident in 2020.

“The housemaids didn’t know the danger of burning coal in bowl inside locked rooms. Some nationalities don’t understand the danger of such behaviour. The carbon monoxide is like a silent killer.”

Dubai Police urged residents to educate domestic workers about the danger of burning coal to stay warm during winter.

“We noticed that some security guards in deserted areas use coal in bowl to stay warm inside locked areas, but they don’t know that they can be killed. Owners and sponsors should educate them about the danger of that behaviour,” Col Al Merri added.