Car that plunged off Costa del Sol motorway bridge killing two people inside was carrying laughing gas

Car that plunged off Costa del Sol motorway bridge killing two people inside was carrying laughing gas

The vehicle caught fire after the accident and several of the bottles of nitrous oxide exploded, according to investigators

Juan Cano


Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 12:35

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A car that plunged off a bridge in Mijas and exploded killing two people was transporting several bottles of nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas.

The vehicle plunged off the AP-7 motorway at Mijas Golf and fell from a 15-metre-high bridge at about 9.15am on Saturday 8 June. It burst into flames, with police finding the charred bodies of a man and woman inside the vehicle. They were a young couple living in San Pedro Alcántara, in Marbella.

Guardia Civil investigators said several bottles of laughing gas found inside the vehicle could explain why the car exploded. Officers found one bottle that still had not exploded. The couple's dog escaped unharmed and was located nearby.

Traffic authorities are investigating how the vehicle lost control and left the road, with speeding suspected as a cause of the accident still to be confirmed. Meanwhile, Guardia Civil officers are investigating where the couple who died in the incident were coming from and where they were going, and why they were carrying the nitrous oxide in the car.

Biggest discovery in Europe

It comes after the largest cache of laughing gas in Europe was discovered inside a warehouse in Alhaurín el Grande, in Malaga's Guadalhorce valley.

Just yesterday (Tuesday 11 June) Guardia Civil revealed an investigation had started in February when officers became aware of the existence of a group of people dedicated to carrying out "illicit activities" at an industrial building in the La Rosa industrial estate in Alhaurín el Grande.

Investigators found the warehouse was being used to store laughing gas cylinders. During surveillance, they observed numerous rental vehicles arriving at night. According to investigators, they loaded the bottles of nitrous oxide into these vehicles and then distributed them to nightlife venues in coastal towns in Malaga province for use at parties.

In the search of the warehouse, some 21,302 litres of laughing gas in bottles were seized. According to Guardia Civil, it is the largest seizure of this type of substance in Europe. Five people of different nationalities were arrested. One of those arrested had numerous previous convictions for similar offences.

Serious health consequences

Laughing gas has become a fashionable drug in Europe, and is cheap and popular among young people. Its use can have serious consequences, as the ministry of health pointed out in a report about the dangers of this substance.

Among other complications, it can cause asphyxiation due to its compressed liquefied gas nature. Functioning as a dissociative anaesthetic, it may also cause hallucinations, uncontrolled vocalisation, altered perception, spatial and temporal disorientation or reduced sensitivity to pain.

It can also lead to serious health problems, especially if it causes a lack of oxygen to the brain. Among other consequences, it can lead to fainting or even respiratory arrest. Continued consumption can also damage the spinal cord and even lead to death.

If this substance is used for several days in a row or intensively in one session, vitamin B12 levels in the body are reduced. This deficiency could lead to neurological and cognitive problems.

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