A young Wellington man collapsed and died very rapidly after inhaling butane gas in a park, a coroner has found.

The case is the latest so-called "huffing" death to be scrutinised by the coroner's court, which has repeatedly highlighted the dangers of substance inhalation.

Coroner Tim Scott found unemployed Johnsonville man Dane Alfred Daniels, 24, died of acute butane toxicity on the afternoon of November 20 last year.

Mr Daniels and a friend, Travis John, had been visiting a friend in Paparangi before going to a nearby dairy where Mr Daniels bought two cans of butane gas lighter fluid.


One of the cans was bought for Mr John, who had seen Mr Daniels huffing butane before. However, Mr John said he had no interest in huffing butane himself.

The two men went to the Jay Street Park, near the friend's house, where they sat on two tree stumps in a bush area.

Mr Daniels began huffing from one can of butane. He stood up two to three minutes later, but collapsed immediately and fell face-down, Mr John said.

Mr John threw down his can of butane and ran to his friend. At first he thought Mr Daniels was playing a trick, but when he turned Mr Daniels over, he saw his friend's pupils were dilated and he was having spasms.

He also started snoring and his lips had turned blue as he struggled to breathe.

Mr John put Mr Daniels in the recovery position and ran back to the friend's house. Mr John said he had a cellphone on him, but was in an extreme panic and not thinking clearly.

The friend's partner called an ambulance and they ran back to Mr Daniels, who was gasping and snoring.

Ambulance staff instructed them to administer CPR, which Mr John did while the friend's partner went back to the road to direct paramedics.


Emergency staff arrived 10 minutes later but were unable to revive Mr Daniels.

A post-mortem examination found traces of cannabis in Mr Daniels' system as well as butane.

A report concluded the cause of death was acute butane toxicity.

Coroner Scott found the death happened very rapidly despite efforts to revive Mr Daniels.

"The facts speak for themselves. I do not need to make any comment," he said.

Coroner Scott offered his his condolences and sympathy to Mr Daniels' family, especially his mother.