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Reports: Laughing gas suspected in Ukraine chess deaths

March 6, 2020 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — Two young Ukrainians prominent in the country’s chess circles have been found dead in Moscow, and news reports say so-called laughing gas is suspected in their deaths.

The bodies of Stanislav Bogdanovich, a 27-year-old grandmaster, and his 18-year-old girlfriend Alexandra Vernigora, also a ranked chess player, were found Thursday night.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, Yulia Ivanova, said Friday there were no signs of violence.

Russian news reports cited unnamed sources as saying the couple were found with plastic bags over their head and containers of nitrous oxide gas nearby.

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Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is used as an anesthetic and as an aerosol propellant but is also illicitly used for recreation.