The entrance to the Split hospital where the children are being treated (Photo: HRT) The entrance to the Split hospital where the children are being treated (Photo: HRT)

The boy and girl, ages 5 and 14, are slowly being brought out of induced comas and their condition has stabilized, according to unofficial reports. It is too early for doctors to tell whether the children suffered any permanent neurological damage as a result of exposure to the gas.

Five people, all Italian nationals on holiday in Croatia, were exposed to the gas while on board a rented boat sailing near Hvar. One of the victims, a 57-year old man, died as a result.

The owner and the captain of the boat are under investigation for negligence. They told investigators that what happened was an accident and that they do not feel responsible. The poison fumes were caused by a gas generator being used to run the ship’s air conditioning. The generator was not approved for use on the ship.

Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković expressed regret over the tragic event, adding the Croatian Ship Register regularly inspected the safety of vessels.