BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 18:19 GMT
Faulty heaters kill many in Iran
Tehran
Iran is experiencing its coldest winter in years
Faulty gas heaters have been blamed for 89 deaths during a cold snap in Iran, according to local media reports.

Most of the victims are reported to have died in their sleep after inhaling carbon monoxide gas from badly installed or damaged gas heaters.

Iran is experiencing its coldest winter for years. Snow has blocked roads and airports and schools are closed.

In neighbouring Afghanistan, more than 100 people and 35,000 cattle have died due to the weather in the past week.

Refugees

Iran's Jomhuri Eslami newspaper and Fars news agency said 89 people had been killed since the start of January by gas heaters.

Carbon monoxide given off by the heaters is odourless and can kill in poorly ventilated spaces.

Nomad in Afghanistan
The Afghan winter has killed people and livestock

Other people have been killed by the freezing temperatures and earlier this month, Tehran declared two days of national holiday, urging people to stay at home to avoid the bitter cold. Temperatures have dropped to -24 degrees Celsius or lower.

In Afghanistan, aid agencies have raised concerns about displaced people and refugees being repatriated from Iran having to survive in extreme conditions.

Iranian and Afghan news agencies report that Iran has responded to Kabul's requests for a temporary halt to forced repatriations during the winter.

Around 9,000 Afghans who were illegally living in Iran have been deported this year.

SEE ALSO
Snow causes many deaths in Asia
11 Jan 08 |  South Asia
Dozens killed in Iran blizzards
09 Jan 08 |  Middle East



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific