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High carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon concentrations 'caused sleeping epidemic' at Kazakhstan village

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 July 2015

Nearby mothballed uranium mine caused the poisoning which led to severe drowsiness, say scientists. 

Experts in Moscow and Prague analysed the findings of detailed tests to name the cause, which has eluded scientists for several years. Picture: The Siberian Times 

Oxygen levels around Kalachi fell when levels of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon concentrations rose, leading to the sleeping epidemic which hit hundreds of villagers.

Experts in Moscow and Prague analysed the findings of detailed tests to name the cause, which has eluded scientists for several years. 

As well as sleep, locals succumbed to violent hallucinations - and for men there was an even more dramatic side effect, a rapid increase in sexual desire, it was claimed.

'The doctors laugh, and the nurses blush, when they see our men in this state," said one woman in the village.  

Residents of Kalachi, and neighbouring 'ghost city' Krasnogorsk, once linked to the Sovet-era uranium mine, are already being moved to new homes outside the area. Some 68 families of of 223 families have been relocated, and the remaining households will be resettled by next year.

Kalachi village


Kalachi village


Kalachi village

Residents of Kalachi, and neighbouring 'ghost city' Krasnogorsk, once linked to the Sovet-era uranium mine, are already being moved to new homes outside the area. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

'The cause of the bizarre sleeping illness has been determined. After numerous medical tests, our researchers and their colleagues from Prague and Moscow have confirmed that carbon monoxide is to blame for sleeping epidemic in Kalachi village,' Vice Premier Berdybek Saparbayev told a press briefing in Astana.

'These uranium ores were shut down after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, they still have negative impact on the atmosphere in that area.' He stressed: 'We conducted a medical examination of all inhabitants of these villages... 

'We received laboratory confirmation that the main cause of disease in Kalachi is carbon monoxide.'

Some locals were asleep for several days. In all more than 160 succumbed to the drowsiness. One mother was told by her sick child that she had an elephant's trunk. Misha Plyukhin, 13, saw light bulbs and horses flying all around him. 

A man, apparently recovering, suddenly leapt out of bed, giving a Nazi salute to his doctors, greeting them with 'Heil Hitler'. A 60 year old grandfather imagined he was a rooster, flapping his arms around and crowing. 

Kalachi village


Kalachi village


Kalachi village

Mobile laborary of National Nuclear Centre working in Kalachi and Krasnogorsk trying to find the causes of the desease. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Last September, eight children all fell asleep in the space of an hour. Even a local cat called Marquis caught the illness and was seen walking round in circles before collapsing asleep and  'snoring like a human', it was reported. 

Lyubov Rabchevskaya, 28, another local resident whose family were struck by the illness, said: 'We began to think that someone is deliberately poisoning us to force us away. Some say that over the hill nearby gold was found and even the road is built.'

Many are deeply concerned that they can behave in a strange way if they are overcome by the condition. 

'We are more relaxed now in that earlier there was a bag packed in every house with clean underwear and a dressing gown, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and a brush,' said Lyudmila Samusenko. 'We each made sure we were always dressed properly so that in case we fell asleep we looked fine for doctors and nurses.'

Kalachi village


Kalachi village


Kalachi village

'We began to think that someone is deliberately poisoning us to force us away. Some say that over the hill nearby gold was found and even the road is built.' Picture: The Siberian Times, Vera Salnitskaya

Siberian expert Leonid Rikhvanov, of Tomsk Polytechnic University, has long pointed to the uranium mine as the cause of the condition. 'My model is the only one which explains what is going on there,' he said earlier this year, though his theory is different to that announced by the Kazakh experts. To describe it simply, when the uranium mines were abandoned, they began to fill with the ground water. 

'Radon and other inert gases which release as a result of the decay of uranium are squeezed out by groundwater and  through the cracks in the ground rises to the surface. It can accumulate in the cellars.'

Comments (2)

Is that it? So most of these people are still living there with the possibility that they'll still fall asleep, while being highly sexually aroused & thinking they're all potentially Hitler or Eva Braun while getting high on gas?


Wow, in the West they'd pay for that privilege.
Jaker, Dundalk
16/07/2015 21:24
1
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This is exactly what is meant by the sins being visited on the children up to the third and fourth generation. This is the price we pay for tampering with God's earth - this is the price we pay.
Valentyna, Perth, Scotland
16/07/2015 13:26
0
1
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