Carbon monoxide poisoning has been blamed for the deaths of an 84-year-old man and his 62-year-old carer in Taiwan’s Miaoli County, with preliminary investigations pointing to fumes from a gas water heater.

The bodies were discovered in the bathroom of the house after the son of the elderly man, who has the surname Yang, climbed into the unit by breaking a window on the second floor, The Liberty Times reported.

All doors and windows in the house were closed due to the cold weather when the bodies were discovered on Sunday evening. Without any ventilation system, emissions from the hot water system in the kitchen would have accumulated in the house.

It is believed the pair had been dead for two days.