The deaths were reportedly the result of a gas leak from a fridge

By Rachel DeSantis
January 28, 2020 10:31 AM
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camping tent
Credit: Getty

An 11-year-old boy and his father were found dead on a holiday weekend camping trip in Australia after an apparent gas leak.

Police received reports that a child on the beach area of Wedge Island was not breathing just before 11 a.m. on Monday, the Western Australia Police Force said in a statement.

Upon arriving at the scene, authorities and emergency personnel found the child and an adult male dead, as well as a woman “in need of urgent medical assistance,” police said.

The family’s dog was also found dead, Australian outlet ABC reported.

Police said the woman was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Perth about 100 miles away. She was later transferred to a different hospital, and is in serious but stable condition, according to ABC.

The deaths are not being treated as suspicious at this time, and an ongoing investigation indicated an equipment accident was to blame, police said.

WEDGE ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Wedge Island
| Credit: Getty

“Initial investigation at the scene suggests there may have been a fault with an item of camping equipment located inside the tent the family were sleeping in,” they said.

Western Australia Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the deaths were likely the result of a possible gas leak from a fridge the family had been keeping in the tent with them.

“It is just very tragic,” she told ABC. “It is a long weekend, so many people would have had a similar experience of camping, be it at Wedge Island or somewhere else, and they would have used potentially similar equipment.”

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The country celebrated its annual Australia Day on Sunday, which marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first British ships in 1788. Monday was also a public holiday, and Wedge Island, which sits off of Australia’s western coast, is a popular spot with vacationers.

The family was on the trip with friends, who reportedly alerted police after they failed to wake up in the morning.

Leslee Holmes, president of the local government area Shire of Dandaragan, said that the group was located in a remote area of Wedge Island that’s difficult to access.

“You’re not [supposed] to camp there, there are signs and everything, but unfortunately they may not have seen them and they’ve been probably fairly away from everybody,” she told ABC.

Police said the faulty equipment was safely removed from the tent with help from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.