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Coroner: Allen Benedict Court residents died from carbon monoxide poisoning

Officials confirmed Monday that carbon monoxide poisoning caused two deaths at Allen Benedict Court.
Credit: WLTX

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Two men found dead at Allen Benedict Court on January 17 died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

"Toxicology test results confirm that Calvin Witherspoon, Jr. and Derrick Caldwell Roper, both of Allen Benedict Court, Columbia, SC, died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning," said Watts in a statement released Monday.

RELATED: 'My heart broke.' Daughter of man found dead at Allen Benedict apartments speaks out

Citing "imminent danger to life," more than 400 residents of Allen Benedict Court, run buy the Columbia Housing Authority, were evacuated after Witherspoon and Roper were found dead and multiple gas leaks were found just about two weeks ago.

400 evacuated from apartments after multiple gas leaks found, two die
Displaced Allen Benedict Court resident: 'It's just rough'

Carbon monoxide, missing smoke alarms, charred closets and infestations were among nearly two dozen violations at the Allen Benedict Court Apartments highlighted in a Columbia Fire Department letter to Columbia Housing Authority.

Conditions 'severe and lethal' at Allen Benedict Court apartments, fire department says
Fire Department: At least 7 calls for 'suspicious odors' in 2018 at Allen Benedict Court 

Residents at Allen Benedict Court were told Friday they would never be able to go back to their homes because of the serious and life-threatening code violations that fire officials discovered there. 

RELATED: Residents won't be allowed to move back to Columbia apartments after life-threatening violations found

A class-action civil suit was filed last week against the apartment complex, alleges the housing authority was "negligent, careless, grossly negligent, reckless, willful, and wonton" in failing to maintain and address hazards there.

RELATED: 'Grossly negligent': 1st lawsuit filed over conditions at Allen Benedict Court Apartments

News 19 continues to push for answers and documentation pertaining to Allen Benedict Court Apartments. 

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