At the age of 8 Maria Chelyseva became an orphan when four of her family members were killed by fumes from rotten potatoes.
This family kept potatoes in their basement for the winter, but they were all too old and rotten to eat, which caused toxic fumes to build up, the Siberian Times reported.
Not aware that the potatoes were rotten, Mikhail Chelyshev, 42, went into the basement. When he failed to return, Anastasia, his wife, went looking for him and suffered the same fate from the toxic fumes.
Georgy, 18 Mikhail’s kid, was the third victim, followed by Anastasia’s mother, Iraida, who did call a neighbor for help but went into the basement before assistance could arrive.
Iraida left the door open as she went down to check on what happened, which allowed the toxic fumes to escape. This prevented Maria from becoming the fifth victim.
“The poor girl found the bodies of the deceased,” according to the Daily Mail.
Then six months later, four workers were killed at a vegetable warehouse in Siberia due to rotten potatoes.
“There was a strong smell of spoiled tubers, which gives grounds to believe that the deaths were caused by a toxic substance released by rotting potatoes,” Russia’s Investigative Committee — comparable to our FBI — said in a statement on the case above.
Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, which are toxic compounds that increase with the age of the vegetable and are concentrated most under the skin. They can cause many issues such as headaches, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, comas and death. The cooking of potatoes partly destroys the glycoalkaloids.
Sources: Siberian Times, Daily Mail