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Four Syrian refugees die from burning coal for heat in Lebanon

January 3, 2022 at 10:39 am

A refugee woman who fled the Syrian city of Raqqa, cooks as children warm up around the fire at a camp housing families fleeing their war torn country on January 8, 2015 in the village of Wazzani, in Lebanon [MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

A Syrian mother and her three children died in their sleep after inhaling toxic fumes from burning coal to heat their room in a village in southern Lebanon, a rescue group said on Sunday.

Youssef al-Dor, an official with Resala Health Ambulance Association, said the family used coal to warm their room on a cold night in a house in Kharayab, a southern village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

An unnamed official from Fakih Hospital said the mother, 31, and her children ages 8, 7, and 4 were already dead on arrival. They were declared dead from asphyxiation.

Lebanon hosts about one million Syrian refugees, who are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while the Lebanese government estimates that the number of Syrian refugees exceeds 1.5 million refugees.

According to UN 2020 estimates, nearly 89 per cent of Syrian families lived below the extreme poverty line in Lebanon.

READ: Syria still unsafe for return of refugees, UN probe finds