Police investigate Taupo death

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The death of a Taupo woman is being investigated by police after they were told she died because a power cut switched off her breathing machine.

Police were called to a Rifle Range Rd property at 8am on Saturday after Fai Deane was found unconscious and unresponsive, they said. The 50-year-old could not be revived.

Police national headquarters spokesman Stephen Matthews said yesterday the person calling for help indicated a power cut might have been responsible for Ms Deane's death.

"It's been reported to us in that way, that a power cut has caused her oxygen machine to fail. Police are investigating."

Ms Deane's flatmate, Gagandeep Bhangoo, said Ms Deane had been released from hospital on Monday with a breathing machine to help her.

But a power cut on Saturday morning stopped the machine from working, he said.

Lines company Unison Networks is responsible for electricity distribution in Taupo.

Customer care manager Danny Gough yesterday confirmed a power cut affected 630 properties in Rifle Range Rd early Saturday morning.

The outage was caused by a car crashing into a power pole at 3.20am. Power was restored to all but 65 properties within 10 to 15 minutes, and to all by about 7.20am.

The company could never guarantee power supply all the time, which is why vulnerable customers usually had contingencies in place, Mr Gough said. "It's clearly a tragic incident and we are going to co-operate fully with the investigation," he said.

A Lakes District Health Board spokeswoman confirmed Fai Deane was a patient under its care. A post-mortem examination was expected to take place yesterday.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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