50 cartridges of the dangerous Den Co Fume have been stolen and authorities are worried they could fall into the wrong hands.
50 cartridges of the dangerous Den Co Fume have been stolen and authorities are worried they could fall into the wrong hands. Craig Warhurst

Police concern after deadly cartridges stolen

FIFTY cartridges of a the deadly Den Co Fume chemical were stolen on the weekend prompting a major safety warning from emergency services.

Five boxes, containing ten cartridges each, of the fox killer were stolen from a shed at Rosedale Rd property at Meadowvale and police are concerned, in the wrong hands, it could lead to death of those using it.

Inspector Pat Swindells said Den Co Fume contained sodium nitrate and carbon and was dangerous.

The cartridges are easily ignited and exposure to the fumes in a confined space could lead to poisoning and death without the victim knowing what was going on.

When ignited, the Den Co Fume cartridges emit a dark smoke for two to four minutes before producing the colourless odourless gas carbon monoxide.

The product is used mainly to kill foxes in their dens.

 

DEADLY: Bundaberg Inspector Pat Swindells and Fire and Rescue inspector Ronald Higgins talk of the dangers of Den Co Fume.
DEADLY: Bundaberg Inspector Pat Swindells and Fire and Rescue inspector Ronald Higgins talk of the dangers of Den Co Fume. Craig Warhurst

The Den Co Fume website said carbon monoxide had a similar density to air and quickly disperses through available space.

Prolonged exposure to 1000ppm (0.1%) carbon monoxide in a fox den causes unconsciousness and death.

Death occurs without pain or distress while the animal is unconscious.

Normally only one cartridge is required for the typical fox den.

Bundaberg Fire and Rescue inspector Ron Higgens said the concern was the large number of flare-like cartridges stolen.

He said if these were let off all at once by youths or children who did not know what they were, it could end in tragedy.

The other concern for authorities is that whoever stole the boxes, once they found out the product had no real street value, could have dumped the cartridges.

Police are now urging anyone who finds the cartridges to call 000 immediately to report the find.

They stress that people should not touch or attempt to remove the cartridges.



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