Kids Suffer CO Poisoning As Mom Digs Out Car

FDNY Warning: When Snow Piles Up, Check Your Tailpipes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Nissan Altima nearly became a death trap on Thursday afternoon.

Two children were hospitalized, one in critical condition, after being overcome by carbon monoxide gas in the Bronx.

“I found the kids with their mother. They were all on the floor. She was crying ‘help! Help!’” Lamin Kamara told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Kamara said he saw his neighbor cleaning off her snow-covered car. The woman placed her 5- and 7-year-old daughters inside the vehicle to stay warm and had no idea snow was blocking the exhaust and endangering her children’s lives.

When the woman opened the door to check on the children, they were unconscious, apparently due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Kamara walked up to the car after the mother made the frightening discovery.

“I saw them. They were laying down, like lifeless bodies almost,” Kamara said. “I couldn’t describe it, because I have my own kid.”

It appears that the tailpipe of the car was clogged, and that’s how the carbon monoxide was pushed into the cabin of the vehicle.

The girls were rushed to the hospital. One FDNY team transported the 5-year-old.

“Sometimes whenever the pipe in the back is clogged from the snow all of that carbon monoxide that’s being expelled from the vehicle can actually backfire into the vehicle,” the FDNY’s Daniel Burgos said.

The sisters were being treated in a hyperbaric chamber at Jacobi Medical Center on Thursday night. Pediatrician Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky said they are very lucky to be alive.

“They have more need for oxygen per unit body weight so they would become saturated with carbon monoxide more quickly,” Belilovsky said.

“After that it take literally minutes to die.”

As drivers continue to dig out after Wednesday’s storm emergency responders said the near tragedy is a warning: be sure to clear out your exhaust pipes before you turn your vehicle on.

“At the very least open the windows up somewhat so if there is carbon monoxide getting in the car at least it will escape,” said Michael Miller of the FDNY.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • jerseyjoey

    Notice no names or nationality of the vivtoms of stupidity, This is bogus reporting, prove it true, start by giving the facts or dont report it dopes, and like lemmings people believe every thing they read, proven by the fact people believe the ADS they read, DUH

  • russ

    not to completly change the subject but a hole car builders put so much junk in cars just to satisfy thier egg head ambitions and run up the price to you a simple carbon monoxide monitor in all new cars would save many lives Many people have died in cars being affixiated automobiles have been designed the wrong way for years and too high priced

  • mumknowsbest

    It’s amazing how people can misinterpret, miscalculate and misinform others via the net. it was a simple mistake; if she had wanted to kill her kids she wouldn’t have cried for some assistance when she realized they where unconscious. Give us a break y all, I’ve made a mistake and so have you. hypocrites.

  • The Good Samaritan

    If I was there I would have attempted to revive the kids with CPR.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

  • lee

    its easy to speculate what if, why, when and what ever else people can come up with, but if it was anyone one of us ,maybe we would have done the same thing, duuh we all wants whats best for our kids, she wanted them warm,and so she put them in the car thinking they would be alright until she was done cleaning the car to leave, how many of us stop to think, hey maybe my car tailpipe is plugged, let me check that first?, people love a good gossip, love to point fingers, love to accuse to make themselves feel good, all those with nothing good to say should shut uuuuup, i am a mother of three, and i know whats it like to juggle a job and care for 3 children with no MAN AROUND TO HELP, AND BELIEVE ME when in a situation only you and you alone knows how hard it can be, peolple love to judge but they just dont have a clue what it takes. i have empathy and admiration for that woman, God knows she was trying to do her best. that is a woman who loves her kids and i can only feel for her the pain and torment she must be going through. for those who have nothing good to say, do not say anything please, be kind to yourself.

  • a.m.

    please, prayers for the children and mom. We should not be so quick to judge It helps nothing.

  • nyc

    Why have there not been any warnings for car owners on the news about this type of thing happening, with all of this snow ?

    • Steve M.

      We’ll send someone to your house to warn you of every potential life changing event OK Bunkie? You won’t have to think for yourself at all..

      • Pat

        LOL…Good response Steve M. :D

  • Liberated

    You know what I’ve noticed about these comments? Most of the negative comments are from men. Of course it was the mother who was out shoveling the snow and watching the children at the same time, so it’s easy for men to judge. Lord knows it wouldn’t have been the father out there shoveling. That’s how it usually goes. The woman does all the work and the man sits back and judges it.

    • mamaof2

      well said

    • maria

      Amen! Or if it was the father, then the kids probably would have died. He’d have gotten back in the car thinking they were asleep!

    • jOESPEH


  • Joe Sr

    What do you say to this? Everything is useless. Like all of you, I hope the kids do well. Last thing: Common sense – I don’t know when it went, why it went or where it went, but common sense went !!!! And this woman ain’t got none……

    • jc

      this is for joe sr
      who said idont care what happens to t he kids
      dont speak for me donkey and for anyone else dear
      now geta life yourself and if u dont stop speaking for me i will report u

      • Tina

        JC, when you said ‘donkey’…you gave me the BEST laugh I’ve had so far today!! You were HILARIOUS!!! Even if that wasn’t your intention! Thank you!!!

  • Fritz

    Wow. I hope YOU don’t have any kids.

  • e. russell

    hahahahahahaha your all nuts!!!!!!

    • jc

      speak for yourself

  • Tammy

    Simple……lets pray for them….the children to fully recover and the mother to forgive herself for almost killing her kids….this will be a big burden on her for the rest of her life….so as mean as some of these comments are…..they are nothing to what this woman has to carry on her shoulders.

  • lifetimenyc

    Hope the kids are OK. That’s the most important thing…

  • Mich Lee D

    Rule #1…Children should not be left alone in a RUNNING vehicle no matter what…for any length of time, snow or no snow. II that no no were a law, the woman would have never left them in the car to begin with.

    • 1ctmomma

      really? so she should leave them in the house alone? sir you must not have children. how is her leaving them in the car while clearing snow any different then if she were pumping gas? the only issue is she didn’t know to clear the snow away from the tail pipe. and i love how your “solution” is more laws! yup just what we need the government thinking for us…yay!! it’s simply a sad story which i hope has a happy outcome.

    • elchi

      Seriously. Be realistic. Given the situation, I’m sure the mother made to most logical decision to have her young children wait in the car, while she attempted to shovel away the snow, and it’s not like she left them in the car and walked away.

    • jc

      99 percent of us dont follow laws i mysellf follow rules i hope the kids are ok though and mich like i said 99 percent of ppl in united states of america dont follow laws for example the people with beanies on there head and string attached to them

    • Michelle

      They were not alone.. She was right outside the car.. Where else would she leave them?? Inside out of her sight completely.. It’s not like she put them in the car, started it, then took a walk.. She was trying to clean her car out of a snow bank.. She was not neglectful..

      Pray for those babies and for that mother.. She must be sick with worry and grief..

  • Pol Pot

    But wait a minute, where are all those climate change morons to tell me that the car was shooting out CO2? You mean my car makes CO? And that means my car is in fact not contributing to global warming, or climate change, or whatever garbage theory you people cooked up in an effort to Khmer rouge us back into the 17th century.

    Really though the climate change folks told me my car makes CO2 so those kids should be fine :O

    • Brown Starfish

      I’ll run you by a very intricate theory that should help. Your car makes both CO and CO2. I know, it’s very difficult to understand, but read it through a few times, break it down section by section, and think about it for a while.

    • ThinkBeforeYouSpeak

      Carbon Monoxide is a relatively unstable gas that binds with oxygen in the air to form carbon dioxide pretty quickly. It will also bind with red blood cells, preventing them from carrying oxygen. That’s why it’s so dangerous.

    • ta-da

      lol are you seriously turning this into a global warming debate?

      as other people have commented already, cars produce both CO2 and CO. It also produces a whole bunch of other gases is smaller amounts. If you don’t know anything about anything, just don’t comment and spare us from your ignorance.

    • major D

      CO2 is also poisonous if it becomes concentrated in a small space (e.g. CAR).

      The internet could do without more idiotic comments born out of ignorance

  • Axel Foley

    Yes- I’m sure it was an accident. Couldn’t be the old banana in the tailpipe trick. Judging by the body damage on the front of the car, I am sure she is a sensible and safe driver.

  • EEE

    Some of you are so ignorant and heartless. How many people, especially woman, know car facts? Most people I’m sure would not ever care to check their tailpipes no matter how much of a car nut they can be. I’m a car nut and did not check my tailpipes after this storm. And I am 100% aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. It was an accident!

    • Ken in Riverdale

      That is why I suggest that basic safety be taught throughout the school years.

    • freddie

      Yes it was an accident but it can be avoided by alert and smart thinking.

    • VL

      IF you don’t check your tailpipe, then you’re as much of a moron as this woman is. She made two mistakes. You don’t sit in running cars with the windows up and you don’t turn the car on before the tailpipe is clear. You don’t have the option of not knowing those two things, especially if you have children. She should be arrested for endangering her children. I bet she remembers next time.

      • k

        I’m having difficulty thinking of anyone that has never sat in a running car with the windows up. That was not a very intelligent comment. Perhaps you’d like to rephrase.

      • John Hackett

        It great that you were born so smart, not everyone knows everything. people are humans, they make mistakes (I bet even you made one at some time in your life) I hope you get arrested the next time you make a mistake because you were ignorant of something…then think about your comment……….

    • jc

      alot of woman know about cars it isnt a mans world after all

  • Michael

    Who let her out of the kitchen?

    • jc

      michael ura prime example of a male who thinks a womans place is in the kitchen
      news flash dear how the hell do u think u got here aka born your mom had to get out of the kitchen dear
      youra moron but u arent alone 99 percent of males think a male carried them

      • Tina

        JC, you did it again! Are you from the West Indies, by chance? You sound (read) just like my mom! Lolll!

  • DaWest

    You are dumb.

  • Senor Asscracker

    Why was there a banana in the tailpipe as well as the snow?

  • Ken in Riverdale

    A few years ago I wrote to government officials and suggested that matters of practical safety be taught in schools from Kindergarten through grade 12. It’s a shame that some people ONLY think about that which is currently a hot topic (such as using hand sanitizer). [BTW, there is a problem with only relying on hand sanitizers as they do not remove toxins.]

    • jc

      most kiindergarden kids can not even read

  • Jane

    So why didn’t she make sure the car’s exhaust pipe was free and clear from snow and NOT blocked before she turned on the car? Pretty simple; that is just plain common sense. This woman must be short of a brain, another dum-dum. I agree, those poor kids, too many people should not be having any. Stupidity runs rampant.

    • T

      What a bunch of repugnant, holier than though comments. How dare you say such mean things about someone you don’t even know As if you never have or never will make an innocent mistake in your lives?

      She obviously did not intend to hurt her children, only to keep them warm.
      If you haven’t dug a car out of 15 inches of snow on a busy city street yourself, then you don’t know what you are talking about. It is a stressful, difficult experience and I’m sure she was exhausted and disoriented.

      I pray for her and her children and you ignorant haters can go to hell. Show some compassion and decency.

    • MsJDinGA

      Obviously she was not aware it was blocked., read the article again and pay atttention to what you read, also stop being so judgemental so quickly.

      • Bob

        What was this mother thinking? This mother sounds clueless and potentially dangerous.

        DSS shoiuld be notified. Who knows what else is going on in that household!

    • Robert

      Honestly….would you have checked and made sure???

      • VL

        I even stick a broomstick up the exhaust to make sure. And if I’m warming up the car while digging it out, the windows are just open on General Principle. I don’t want to get in a car with a CO buildup myself, let alone if there were kids in the car. You have to check, you just have to.I dig out the back before I even dig out around the door. Why? Because I don’t want to kill myself DUH.

    • Chuck

      Thanks for sharing your judgemental, holier-than-thou attitude with everyone.

      • Chuck

        To Jane

        Thanks for sharing your judgemental, holier-than-thou attitude with everyone.


  • aemie

    tragedy happen anywhere, anytime regardless who you are…
    to richard allen.. if this happen to you? what is your reaction? how would feel when others make the same remark like you did.. in your own face?

    to NYC.. simple.. when will we learn not to leave our kid in the car with engine running.. regardless of weather.. be it summer, autumn, winter or spring.. it’s a very unsafe and high risk thing to do… that’s all,,

  • John B

    Second sentence “I found the Mother with her kids on the floor” Says Kamara. So the first thought in your mind. She was in there stuck in there with them in the carbon monoxide. BUT WAIT – Kamara saw his neighbor “cleaning off her car”.

    So let’s see we Have here Kamara finding the mother on the floor and Kamara seeing his neighbor cleaning off the car. And then we have “The Woman” opening the door to find the kids on the floor. But I thought Kamara found the mother with the kids on the floor. Ok, I see. After a nice round of confusing journalistic gabber storytelling I’m beginning to see the light. The mother on the floor , the neighbor cleaning off the car and the Woman opening the door to find the children is all the SAME PERSON.You GIGO Morons.

    • DaWest

      …Learn to read.

  • Jay

    Seem like she should have noticed something was wrong before they passed out.

    • Pat

      What should she have noticed? Do you know what happens when one is being poisoned by carbon monoxide? They simply feel sleepy. Do you know that carbon monoxide is odorless?

    • Mike

      carbon monoxide is odorless…smh. what could she have noticed?

    • PV

      Unfortunately a tragedy, but I agree that the mother could of noticed something was wrong. Negligence is very often disguised by accident. I have two kids and I can’t leave them by themselves for 1 minute because disaster strikes. Being a parent is a 24h constant watch.

  • nikki

    …another loser!

  • Sam

    You know what? I’ve read a few stupid comments on here. This woman did not intentionally poison her children. The young Lady was doing the best she could, with what she had to work with. Instead of condemning this Lady, why can’t we all pray for the speedy recovery of her children!

    • William

      Yes, people need to think before they write. It was a freak accident. She wasn’t trying to kill her kids and she didn’t expect her tailpipe to clog up. All she wanted to do is to keep her kids warm until she cleared out her car.

      • Spooner

        An accident, yes…A freak accident..I don’t think so

    • Captain Obvious

      This is a tragic accident – very sad – could have happened to anyone with all this damn snow out there – I pray these 2 young girls make a full recovery.

      Learn from their mistake and make absolutely certain your exhaust pipe is clear of snow.

    • aemie

      u r rite sam.. at times we overlook when actually we mean no harm..

    • Maria

      Absolutely. It’s a completely heart-wrenching scenario, and I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before in these extreme weather conditions. Waiting to hear for an update on the kids. I pray that they make a speedy, full-recovery. I’ve got a daughter the same age, so it hits home all-the-more for me.

  • CQ

    May God bless her children. I will pray that they will be okay. This is a valuable lesson for all of us. Some of us could have made the same mistake.

    • JW

      I agree! I pray that her children are fine! It’s a careless mistake that I would’ve made.

  • RGJ

    There are dumb mistakes and there are mistakes. Inthis case it was a simple mistake. There are comments and there are dumb comments. In the case of Richard Allen, that was a dumb comment with a capitol D.

  • Mister

    And if she left them in the cold, they’d get hypothermia. Life sucks.

  • Richard Allen

    Nice car….does she have a job with health insurance ….?

    or is she on welfare….and the car belong to the cant find him baby daddy….

    Just askin…..

    • Blasterific

      Another useless comment.

    • nikki

      Richard your a loser!

    • JW

      What’s your problem? You have no other way of taking our your anger but comment on a lady’s careless mistake?

    • hamy

      you are a racist, much lower on the totem pole then the mom’s accident.

      • Richard Allen

        racist? nope just asking who is going to pay with the enormous hospital bill.

        If she has a job with good health insurance then I will apologize…,

      • hamy

        Richard Allen
        you are a racist because you infer she is on welfare, and then her children have no father because…. they are from the bronx.

        Maybe she has a PHD in astrophysics for all you know.

    • To Richard A

      You are a real waste of space. Why don’t you pick on someone else?

      • T

        Richard Allen when you have accomplished something useful with your life, then you can comment on others. What was it, were you caught in your mom’s underwear as a teenager? Did someone make fun of your small package in the gym shower? Go back to beating your wife or abusing your dog or whatever else you do to relieve your repressed anger and stop picking on this poor woman.

    • DaWest

      Perhaps “the cant find him baby daddy” was inside watching TV where it was warm with his feet kicked up in his pink, fuzzy slippers with his hand tucked in the waist-band of his Sponge-Bob boxers while the Mother of his children dug the family car out of 2 feet of snow…just sayin’.

  • 01608

    When will we learn?

    • Blasterific

      And if she left them in the house while she shoveled and something happened to them alone in the house would your useless comment be the same?

    • NYC

      Learn what 01608? You are a moron.

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