A trader, Ifeanyi, his wife, Amaka, two children, mother-in-law and apprentice have died after inhaling poisonous fumes from a generator in Anambra State.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, who confirmed the incident to Punch on Friday, July 21, 2023, said the police were yet to unravel the real circumstances surrounding their death.
“The matter is still being investigated and the details will be communicated as soon as investigation is concluded,” the PPRO added.
It was gathered that the family was celebrating their first night in their newly built mansion at Nkwelle Ezunuka in Oyi Local Govt Area, near Onitsha, when the incident occurred.
Ifeanyi hailed from Enugu State, and was a trader at the Onitsha Bridge Head Market.
According to the publication, the man’s wife had delivered a baby on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, and to give the wife a surprise gift, the man quickly arranged for the family to move to their new house.
Sources in the area said it was the family’s first night in their new residence, adding that only the four-day-old baby survived.
The source said the incident was made known when a friend who was supposed to join them in the celebration that night, but couldn’t meet up, went to the deceased’s house only to discover that the doors were locked with the generator still on.
However, the manager of St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha, where the victims were rushed to, Rev. Fr. Izunna Okonkwo, also confirmed that only the newborn baby was in a stable condition when they arrived at the hospital for medical care.
“The entire members of the family were in their new mansion celebrating when suddenly there was a power outage. The man had to put on the generator stationed at the verandah close to the bedroom,” a source explained.
“The celebration continued into the night before they all slept off and didn’t remember to switch off the generator. The next morning, a friend who was supposed to join them in the celebration but couldn’t meet up, went to the deceased house only to discover that the doors were locked with the generator still on.
“After knocking for sometime without response, he alerted other neighbours who forced the door open and saw the lifeless bodies, it was only the four-day-old baby that survived.
“The wife and one of the daughters were still unconscious when they were rushed to the hospital, but efforts to resuscitate them, including placing them on oxygen, failed, and they were pronounced dead.”