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    A man and a woman were rescued from a room that had exploded. Many empty cassette gas cylinders were found in the room. The man and woman were hospitalized immediately for the treatment of burns. The woman died 6 days later, and the man died 31 days later without regaining consciousness. Carbonization and hardening of the frontal facial skin and parts of the left and right fingers were observed on the man's body. In both cases, systemic burns had led to progressive systemic edema and markedly suppressed circulation. Analytical samples for butanes obtained from their bodies at autopsy were stored at -20 °C for 14 and 25 days, respectively, before analysis. Normal butane and isobutane were quantified in the brain and subcutaneous adipose tissue of the woman. Only the isobutane was quantified in the adipose tissue of the man. The evidence suggests that the man lit a cigarette while breathing gas and the entire room exploded. Our results also suggest that butane can be detected in the adipose tissue of autopsy cases long after inhalation even under the present storage conditions, and isobutane may remain in adipose tissue longer than n-butane. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Toshiko Tanaka, Kentaro Kasai, Kosho Yoshida, Hiroaki Sato. Butane detection after long-term treatment of burns in two autopsy cases. Legal medicine (Tokyo, Japan). 2021 Mar;49:101847

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    PMID: 33465569

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