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Updated at 6:42 pm on 5 May 2012
A boy found dead in a Christchurch carpark is believed to have been "huffing" butane from a canister, police say.
An ambulance was called to the New Brighton carpark shortly before midnight on Friday, but attempts to resuscitate the 12 year old were unsuccessful and he died at the scene.
A cause of death has yet to be confirmed, but police say the incident highlights the dangers of people sniffing butane.
Youth, alcohol and drug workers say some youngsters inhale chemical vapours for a thrill - a practice known as "huffing" - but butane gas may not only make the heart beat faster, but cause it to stop pumping, and that this can be a risk even for first-time users.
The death will be referred to the Christchurch coroner and inquiries will also be made into the sale of the butane to a group of youths.
A post-mortem is expected to be held on Monday.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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