Three members of one family in Dushanbe have died of died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Emergencies Committee under the Government of Tajikistan says the tragedy took place in Khujambiyoi Pyon, Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district on the night December 7-8.

Ms. Umeda Yusufi, a spokesperson for the Emergencies Committee, says the 42-year-old woman and two her daughters aged 18 and 3 were found dead in their home on the morning of December 8.  

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally Radio Ozodi, citing their relatives, says the woman and her daughters died of smoke inhalation.  They were reportedly found lying in their beds on the floor.

Every year with the onset of cold weather residents of rural areas of Tajikistan heat their houses with wood and coal.  In some cases, failure to comply with safety rules leads to such tragedies.

At least six cases of deaths of carbon monoxide poisoning were officially registered in Tajikistan this year – one case in Sughd province and five cases in Khatlon province.  

Failure to comply with safety rules while using potbelly stove and ‘sandali’ leads to such fatal tragedies.

In Tajikistan, the ‘sandali’ stove is a popular, cheap heating method.  But its use is also fraught with danger, such as asphyxiation or accidental burning.

Traditional table-stove ‘sandali’ is a creative solution.  All you need is a low-height table, a blanket to cover the table and manqal, which is put under the table.  Manqal is an important part of ‘sandali’ as it generates the heat.  First, the ash of burnt wood is placed on the bottom of bowl, then chunks of charcoal are put on the bed of ash.  Charcoals are covered with ash so that the heat lasts longer.  But sandalis have their dangers, too.  The coal fumes cause breathing problems for people; those who snuggle up too close under the blankets can get asphyxiated.