Post mortems confirm faulty gas heater caused deaths of Preston sisters in Pakistan
Police in Pakistan have confirmed that a gas leak from a faulty water heater caused the deaths of two sisters from Preston.
Post mortem examinations conducted on the bodies of Maria and Nadia Rehman proved they died from carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities in Mirpur have revealed.
The official report by pathologists quashes speculation on social media that the two women could have been murdered during a visit to family in the Gujrat region.
Maria, 25, and Nadia, 17, from Fishwick Parade in Preston, were found unconscious on the floor of their bathroom in the village of Daulat Nagar last Friday.
They were rushed to hospital but could not be revived.
A gas water geyser in the bathroom is believed to have been faulty.
A police spokesman in Mirpur said: "c We have looked at the cylinders, the pipes, the bodies of the girls. We have gone through the crime scene a number of times.
"We have found no evidence - no scientific evidence - to suggest anything different to arrest anyone in this case."
When police launched their investigation, it prompted rumours to circulate on Facebook that the deaths may have been down to foul play.
But officers in Pakistan have confirmed that the post mortem reports show there were no signs of injury on the bodies and the women died as a result of a gas leak.
Close siblings Maria and Nadia flew out to Pakistan with their parents Abdul and Zarina Rehman more than two weeks ago to attend a memorial to their grandfather on the anniversary of his death.
The girls’ parents have stayed on in Mirpur while investigations are completed. But they are reported to have accepted their daughters’ deaths were a tragic accident.
Maria and Nadia have both been buried in a local cemetery in their family’s home village.
According to reports, the funeral was attended by relatives and several local people.
An inquest into the deaths is expected to be held in due course, with expert evidence about the condition of the gas water heater currently being compiled after a detailed examination by engineers.
Members of the family both in Pakistan and the UK have said they are “too upset” to talk about the deaths of the two sisters.
But the former wife of Mr Rehman hit out in a national newspaper over online speculation surrounding the tragedy.
“We know exactly what happened, it was a gas leak,” insisted Sheila Rehman, 72, at home in Sheffield. “There have been rumours across Facebook that were not true.
“My children are their sisters. We are all deeply shocked and very sad. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Sheila’s daughter Roxanna has flown to Pakistan to comfort the family. One of her neighbours in Sheffield is said to have told reporters: “Roxanna told us what had happened.
“She said Maria and Nadia had died, but it wasn’t clear how they died.
“We are all shocked. We knew the girls. It’s terrible.”
The deaths came just 24 hours after a 16-year-old girl died in Mumbai, India from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas geyser fitted in a bathroom.
The Rehman family are being supported by consular officials in Pakistan.
A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London said: “We are in contact with the local authorities following the deaths of two British women in Gujrat, Pakistand and have offered consular support to the family.”
Haider Ali, Imam at the women's mosque in Preston, said the deaths had caused "distress, sadness and sorrow."