Autopsy results reveal woman died from sewer asphyxiation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The death of a 44-year-old woman has been ruled an accident by the Jackson County Medical Examiner. Autopsy results revealed Bernice Weaver, who was found unconscious on the kitchen floor of a home on March 6, died of a rare case of sewer asphyxiation, or hydrogen sulfide intoxication, due to faulty plumbing.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, “Just a few breaths of air containing high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas can cause death. Lower, longer-term exposure can cause eye irritation, headache, and fatigue.”

Autopsy results also determined previous methamphetamine abuse and an existing condition of chronic asthma contributed to Weaver’s death.

At the scene on March 6, police said there was a “strong odor of what appeared to be sewer gas.” The Kansas City Fire Department also responded to the scene and expressed concern that the woman may have asphyxiated from the gases.

Read FOX 4’s initial report here.

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