Boy, 11, died ‘after inhaling toxic fumes as part of shocking social media challenge DURING friend’s sleepover


A ‘bright’ and ‘energetic’ schoolboy died after allegedly taking part in a dangerous social media challenge that encourages the inhalation of toxic fumes, his family claimed.

Tommie-lee Gracie Billington, 11, died on Saturday, March 2, after being found unresponsive by paramedics at a friend’s house at Greenset Close, Lancaster.

Lancashire Police was called to the scene by North West Ambulance Service shortly after 12pm. The boy was transferred to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Tommie-lee’s grandmother, Tina Burns, has today spoken out about the death of her grandson, claiming he ‘died instantly’ at a sleepover where he and a friend had ‘tried the TikTok craze chroming’.

The teaching assistant said the family wants TikTok ‘taken down’ and for children under the age of 16 to be banned from using social media. 

About ‘TikTok Chroming’

Chroming has been used as a slang term to describe the trend of inhaling toxic fumes to get a high since before TikTok’s launch in the UK in 2018. The social media platform has also blocked any videos or searches using the term. 


Paying tribute, Tina told the Lancashire Post that her grandson had a ‘heart of gold’. She said the family have been left ‘utterly devastated’ by the loss of Tommie-lee, who was ‘bright’, ‘energetic’ and the ‘life and soul of any room’.

Tina told the outlet: ‘We don’t want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media.

‘In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age.

READ ALSO: Steve Wright found dead at home as he ‘DIED of a broken heart’

Warning to Other Parents

‘This is breaking us all but we want to help save other children’s lives and give families awareness to keep their children safe.’

The grandmother said she had received many messages from other parents ‘thanking her’ for raising awareness of the challenge.

Tina said she knew of one woman who had ‘no idea’ about the harmful social media trends and her children ‘happily’ sit on TikTok in their bedrooms.

‘She has now removed all social media from their devices and is so grateful that we are openly talking about it,’ the teacher added.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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