广西频发煤气中毒事件,上百人死亡

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills More Than 100 in China This Year

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2018年2月13日 作者:纽约时报储百亮(By CHRIS BUCKLEY)

居民家中一个烧煤的炉灶。
居民家中一个烧煤的炉灶。A coal-fired stove

BEIJING — A rash of gas poisonings in a region of southern China has left at least 104 people dead and hundreds more hospitalized so far this year, according to government offices quoted in the state-run news media, which blamed poorly ventilated or faulty water heaters and cooking stoves for the deaths.

北京——官方新闻媒体援引政府机构的消息称,中国南方的一个地区接二连三发生煤气中毒事件,今年已造成至少104人死亡,另有数百人入院治疗。媒体将其归咎于通风不良或热水器和灶具有问题。

The government of the region, Guangxi, announced a safety crackdown after the deaths from exposure to carbon monoxide, a byproduct of burning natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels. Twenty-two people died during a three-day period last week alone, China National Radio reported.

在燃烧天然气、煤炭和另一些化石燃料时产生的副产品——一氧化碳造成多人死亡后,广西政府宣布开展安全行动。据中国中央人民广播电台报道,在上周三天内就有22人死于一氧化碳中毒。

In most cases, the deaths appeared to be caused by natural gas-fired heaters or stoves that were either shoddily built or improperly installed, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate inside rooms to the point that it overwhelmed the occupants, news reports from Guangxi suggested. Many of the victims were children or elderly, said health and emergency response offices.

广西的新闻报道称,多数情况下死亡似乎是使用烧天然气的热水器或炉子造成的。它们要么质量低劣,要么安装不当,导致一氧化碳得以在房间里积聚到致人窒息的水平。卫生和应急反应机构说,很多受害者是儿童或老人。

Carbon monoxide is odorless unless suppliers add a telltale scent to alert users to gas leaks. In small doses, it can cause headaches, dizziness and vomiting; in larger doses, the victims can pass out and even die.

一氧化碳是无味气体,除非供应商添加一种警示气味,提醒用户发生了一氧化碳泄漏。少量一氧化碳会引起头痛、头晕和呕吐。若大量吸入一氧化碳,受害者可能会晕倒甚至死亡。

Natural gas-fired water heaters and cooking stoves have become more common in China as living standards have risen, replacing older coal and wood-powered devices. Water heaters in bathrooms, where carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly in a small space, appear to be deadliest of all, the reports said.

在中国,随着生活水平的提高,使用天然气的热水器和灶具变得更加普遍,取代了烧煤和柴火的老旧装置。相关报道称,浴室里的热水器似乎是致死人数最多的。在浴室的狭小空间里,一氧化碳可迅速积聚。

“It’s often the case that by the time medical workers break into the door, it’s already too late,” Yang Shixiong, the director of an emergency medical center in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi, told China National Radio. “Every winter there are many reports like this, but every year it’s the same, and there’s no clear improvement.”

“很多情况下都是医护人员破门而入,那时已经很晚了,”广西首府南宁急救医疗中心主任阳世雄对中央人民广播电台表示。“每到冬天这方面的报道都非常多,但每年还是这样,没有明显改善。”

The reports did not say how the death rate this winter compared with previous ones.

报道没有说今年冬天的死亡率和以前相比情况如何。

But some medical experts in Guangxi suggested that the carbon monoxide deaths reflected growing use of poorly installed gas heaters, as well as an unusually long and sharp cold spell across the region. Too many residents turned on faulty heaters and then shut windows and doors to keep in the warmth, trapping in the gas, they said.

但广西的一些医学专家表示,一氧化碳致人死亡事件反映出越来越多的人使用安装不当的燃气加热器,以及整个广西的严寒持续时间异常的长。他们说,很多民众打开有问题的热水器,然后为了保暖而关闭门窗,导致一氧化碳无法扩散。

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintended carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. China does not release similar nationwide estimates, but the number is likely to be much higher.

据美国疾病预防与控制中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)称,美国每年超过400人死于意外的一氧化碳中毒。中国没有公布类似的全国情况估计,但这个数字可能远高于美国。

The reports of poisonings in Guangxi gave examples of whole families overcome by carbon monoxide. In the city of Liuzhou, ambulance workers found a family of three on Wednesday that had apparently killed by the gas — the mother in the bathroom, the father in a bedroom doorway and their daughter on a bed, the official Guangxi news service reported. In another city, a father and his 2-year-old son died in the shower.

有关广西一氧化碳中毒的报道中还举出了多起全家遭遇一氧化碳中毒的案例。广西官方新闻机构报道称,在柳州市,救护车工作人员周三发现一家三口似乎都死于一氧化碳中毒:母亲在浴室、父亲在卧室门口、女儿躺在床上。在另一个城市,一位父亲和两岁的儿子在淋浴时死亡。

Officials have scolded residents for using shoddy water heaters that lack fans and piping to expel carbon monoxide. News reports said that such heaters were widely available despite attempts to ban them, especially in poorer areas where migrant workers live.

官方指责民众使用劣质的非强排式热水器。新闻报道称,尽管相关方面试图禁用这类热水器,但它们依然随处可以买到,尤其是在农民工居住的贫困地区。

储百亮(Chris Buckley)是《纽约时报》驻京记者。欢迎在Twitter上关注他 @ChuBailiang。

Zou Mou对本文有研究贡献。

翻译:纽约时报中文网