Monday, December 30, 2013

Taiwan: Canadian Tourist Dies from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Staying at an Illegal Hostel

According to, police in Taipei say a Canadian tourist, age unknown, died of carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday (December 30) while staying in an " illegal" hostel, Focus Taiwan reports.

The preliminary police investigation suggests the tourist, along with five Taiwanese women, may have been exposed to carbon monoxide leaked from a water boiler fueled by natural gas.

After feeling dizzy and notifying police, the five local women were treated in hospital and discharged later in the day. 

COMMENT: The Canadian woman, identified only as "Lydia," reportedly checked into the three-bedroom apartment in the city's downtown core after arriving in the country on Friday. She was due to return home Monday (December 30).

Police continue to investigate the wrongful death and have questioned two tenants who used their apartment as an illegal hostel.

As I have said on numerous occasions in recent years, it is essential that foreign travelers stay only in licensed accommodations for which they pay an established room rate.

Hostels in and of themselves can often be poorly regulated and have deficient internal security which can place tenants at risk of assault, armed robbery, rape and sexual assault.  

One can only hope that Taiwanese authorities insist on an autopsy being performed to determine culpability in the Canadian's death.

A final note. Having been young once, I know the mindset of many young adults all too well, which is to cut corners on accommodations and security issues in order to have discretionary funds for "fun." Unfortunately, "corner-cutting" can often have very tragic, irreversible results.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.