An 11-year-old boy has died in the blizzard bearing down on the East Coast after he succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as he waited in a car while his father shoveled.
The death came as the boy’s father was trying to get the family car dug out of a snow bank. Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the boy was initially helping his father shovel snow in their Dorchester neighborhood but got too cold.
His father started the car and got the boy inside, but the car’s exhaust was covered by a snow bank and it filled with fumes, The Associated Press reported.
The situation nearly claimed two lives. While the 11-year-old boy died in the blizzard, his father also had to be rushed to the hospital after he went into respiratory arrest. They both were rushed to Boston Medical center, where the 11-year-old boy was declared dead.
The news that the 11-year-old boys died puts the blizzard’s death toll up to seven, Fox News reported.
The commonwealth of Massachusetts had been in a state of emergency as Governor Deval Patrick had a ban on all travel for non-essential employees. That ban was lifted at 4 pm on Saturday, but the city’s public transportation system remained down.
The blizzard, named Winter Storm Nemo, also knocked out power to more than 650,000 people and caused coastal flooding in some areas. It dropped more than two feet of snow across Massachusetts and New England, with snow drifts reaching up to five feet in some places.
Overall the storm wasn’t as bad as some forecasters had feared. It was originally thought to be more powerful than the historic blizzard of 1978.
Police and local authorities were still assessing damage on Saturday and it was not known if the death toll would rise. Police did not release the name of the 11-year-old boy who died in the blizzard.