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Five out of seven family members who died of generator fumes buried in Imo

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Bodies of the five children of a family of seven killed by generator fumes at their residence in ‘Too Much Money’ street in Elele, Ikwere Council of Rivers State have been buried in Ihiagwa, the home town of the deceased in Imo State, while the bodies of the husband and wife were still in the morgue.

A close relation of the family, Mrs. Margaret Ihekwe, told The Guardian that grieving relatives of the deceased arrived Elele, went to the rented apartment where the incident occurred to take analysis before going to the morgue where their bodies were deposited and evacuated the children to Imo State. 

The victims, made up of father, mother and five children, slept on Wednesday night, but could not woke up on Thursday morning, a situation that forced neighbours to break into their apartment when it was observed that the deceased house was still under lock and key and the car belonging to the father, a known commercial driver in the area, was still parked, while none of the children were seen outside about 11 am.

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According to an eyewitness, Mr. Frank Bobmanuel, when the door was broken, the generator set was seen directly facing the victims’ door.

Speaking with The Guardian, a teacher of one of the children, Mrs. Roseline Nnadi, described the incident as painful, stating that the school management and students were thrown into grief as a result of the sudden death of their student/colleague.

She said: “We were worried, as we waited for the student to come to school, but sadly, we later received a call that the whole family was dead. It was quite disheartening”

She advised families to always keep generating sets outside their rooms, as fumes from such have a deadly effect.

Similarly, a medical expert and Consultant Pediatrician at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Appollus Josiah, said emissions from generating sets block the heart, urging residents to keep such sets away from the house.

He tasked the federal government on the regular power supply to the citizens to avoid recurring deaths of families from generator fume/smoke.

Spokesman of the state Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that preliminary investigation showed that the family died as a result of smoke from the generator set.

He added that investigations were on to unravel if it was caused by sabotage.

It was also gathered that ‘Too Much Money’ Street in Elele has suffered power outage for over 10 years.

A resident in the area, Mrs. Agnes Udoh, said while the family died due lack of electricity, other adjourning streets enjoyed power supply.


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