A young survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire has been treated for cyanide poisoning.
BBC’s Newsnight programme said medical papers showed that Luana Gomes, 12, was treated for the effects of the highly toxic gas, amid fears it may have been released by burning of insulation or plastics during the fire.
The King’s College Hospital discharge papers show the youngster was diagnosed with “smoke inhalation injury” and “cyanide poisoning”. As well as being combustible, the insulation in the Grenfell cladding released highly toxic gas and some victims were treated with the hydrogen cyanide antidote Cyanokit.
Luana’s mother and sister were also also treated for the risk of cyanide poisoning.
They were put into medically induced comas and treated with a cyanide antidote but Luana was the only one who was diagnosed as having been poisoned, according to BBC Newsnight. Headaches, dizziness, confusion, vomiting and convulsions are some of the symptoms which can be caused by cyanide, which can be fatal in high doses.
Luana’s mother Andreia Gomes, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the fire, but lost her baby, told BBC Newsnight: “You just killed my son. “If it was in a normal situation, I could have gone out. And he was seven months. He could have survived. But because of the conditions, he passed away.”
Richard Hull, professor of chemistry and fire science at the University of Central Lancashire, told the BBC: “Plastic foam insulation is effectively made from crude oil and so it’s going to combust in more or less the same way as any other petrochemical.
“It’s got a lot of nitrogen in it and therefore when it burns it produces both carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.”