- Generator fumes killed couple, apprentice mother in-law leaving only the new born baby
- Couple, children buried July 29
- Police confirms incident, says autopsy revealed cause of death
The family of Late Chief Pius Ani Okonkalunwagu of Umunkata in Amagu Akegbe Ugwu Awkunanaw in Nkanu West local government area of Enugu state are currently living in grief, pain and tears.
They are presently mourning the untimely and tragic death of their children, Ifeanyi Theophilus Oko, his wife Mrs. Chiamaka Gloria Okoh, Emmanuel Chinecherem Okoh(son) and Chiziterem Okoh(daughter).
Their mother in-law, Anthonia Onwukube who came to take care of her daughter who was just delivered of new baby four days before was also killed in the ugly incident.
However, Saturday, July 29, 2023 was their burial date in Nkanu in Enugu state and according to WITHIN NIGERIA findings, it was indeed a dark day in the bereaved family as relatives, friends and well wishers besieged the family to pay their last respect to the deceased.
Earlier in a burial arrangement released by the family, their remains would depart from St. Charles Borromeo Mortuary Anambra state to their hometown Amagu Akegbe Ugwu.
Few minutes after, burial Mass will follow at St. Patrick’s parish, Amagu Akegbe Ugwu.
There will also be outing Mass at St. Patrick’s parish Amagu, Akegbe Ugwu on Sunday, July 30, 2023.
Recall that on July 17, 2023 Ifeanyi, wife, two children, mother-in-law and newly arrived apprentice reportedly died by fumes suspected to emanate from their generator, on the first night they slept in their newly built mansion.
According to reports, the deceased, Mr Ifeanyi, a trader at the Onitsha Bridge Head Market, had planned a surprise package for his wife after her discharge from hospital, having delivered of a new baby.
An eyewitness told journalists that Ifeanyi had decided that they would park in his new mansion at Nkwele Ezunaka to celebrate the newborn and the new house together.
However, WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that following a blackout from the public power source, the man switched on the generating set, which he stationed on the veranda close to the bedroom to provide electricity in the new house that night.
They were said to have made merry into the night before they all slept off without switching off the generating set.
Nevertheless, the next morning, a family friend, who was supposed to join them in the celebration, but could not make it, went to felicitate with them, only to discover that the doors were locked from the inside while the generating set was still on.
It was gathered that after knocking continuously without a response from the family, the visitor alerted some neighbours who forced the door open and saw the lifeless bodies of the family members.
Fortunately, the four-day-old baby survived the mysterious circumstances.
Police confirms the incident, says there is no foul play
As the confusion and anxiety over the tragic incident continued, the Anambra state police command on Friday issued a statement, confirming the incident and debunking any form foul play in the incident.
In a release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Tochukwu Ikenga, the command explained that the result of the autopsy showed that the perished as a result of generator fumes.
The release partly read thus; “on 17th July, 2023 at about 0400hours the lifeless bodies of a family of five were discovered in a bungalow at Oze Village, Nkwelle Ezunaka. Information in the public domain had it that they died the first night they moved into the new building.
“Names of the deceased were given as Ifeanyi Okoh, 32 years from Akebugu, Enugu State; his wife Chiamaka Okoh, 28 Years; Two of their children, Chinecherem Okoh, 3 Years, and Catherine Okoh, 2 Years as well as the mother of the wife, Anthonia Onwukube aged 56 years.
“A visit to the scene of the crime revealed a generator connected to the house electricity grid and kept in a confined space without proper ventilation.
“An autopsy conducted on the corpses revealed the cause of death to be carbon monoxide poisoning. They were killed by fumes from the generator.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye while commiserating with the bereaved families wishes to advise the public on the terrible dangers of operating generators indoors as carbon monoxide which is emitted in the fume is a deadly gas that has wiped out several families due to ignorance.
“Generators are to be kept in well-ventilated spaces while in use. He assures that the Command will continuously sensitize the public to domestic hazards that may claim life in order to reduce such unnecessary and avoidable deaths.”