Man, sons and nieces die in generator fumes mishap


For residents of Ikoyi, Agelete in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, October 12, 2014 was a black Sunday. It was one day that would re­main forever indelible in their minds. It was a day they woke up to a stunning development as a man in the commu­nity, his two sons and two nieces were wiped out overnight by fumes from his own generator.

When members of the community and relatives of the deceased besieged the scene of the tragic incident, they wished that the Sunday never was. Till now, many residents of the sleepy community have not come to terms with what hit them after Baba Malik, the patriarch of the household and his two sons and two nieces were killed by the fumes, which emitted from his generating set. It was a tragedy that sent shock waves down ev­ery spine as the sad news spread round the area. And many could not hold back tears when they sighted the lifeless bod­ies of the victims being carried out from the building they once lived in.

For the wife of the deceased and her daughter who survived the tragedy, life may never be the same again. As at the time of this report, mother and daughter have been discharged from a private hospital in Iba. Incidentally, both have not been informed of the death of their loved ones.

According to a neighbour, Baba Malik and his family were full of life on Saturday, October 11. Both husband and wife went out for their businesses and were welcomed home by their children and nieces. Because of the erratic power supply to the area, the man, identified as Ibrahim, was said to have filled his big generator with petrol. Next, he powered on the machine and let it right inside the apartment, not knowing that disaster was right at the door.

Said the neighbour: “After their din­ner, the family went to bed with the generator still on. When we woke up on Sunday morning and did not see any of the family members outside, we became concerned. We knew that tragedy might have struck because the generator was still on at about 6.30am.

“We began to bother when about 11.30am we didn’t see any member of the household outside. That was how we raised the alarm and began to knock on the door for close to 15 minutes without response from any of the family members.”

She said she was among the first set of people to arrive at the unpainted, one-storey building. And after a series of banging on the door, some youths had to break the window glasses and peeped through to behold the shock of their lives. It was then that the crowd decided to force the door open and the exercise took close to 30 minutes as the house was strongly fortified with iron bars.

She said: “When they gained entry, they beheld the deceased family mem­bers lying on the floor motionless in the sitting room with foam gushing out of their mouths while some had blood also gushing out from their noses.”

Daily Sun was told that seeing the tragedy, the community feared the worst had happened and immediately they sent for a prominent chief in the community, Chief Kola Idowu, and the chairman of Ikoyi Community Develop­ment Association (CDA), Pastor Emeka Amaraegbu. It was Chief Idowu who noticed that the wife and daughter of Ibrahim were still breathing and rushed them to the hospital in a canoe as the whole neighbourhood was flooded and some areas were completely submerged by flood.

Narrating how the victims lost their lives, Chief Idowu, the Aro of Agelete/ Ikoyi, said two women rushed to inform him of the tragedy amidst weeping and he had to jettison his trip to join the rescue team. He said on arrival, five members of the family were lying dead while the woman and her daugh­ter showed signs of life. He revealed that the man, named Ibrahim, a plank seller at Volkswagen at Ojo, put on his generator on Saturday night with the windows shut resulting in his death and four others.

“I was on my way to a meeting that Sunday inside a boat when I saw two women running towards me crying, so I had to ask them what happened. They said some people died inside their home. I thought it was the flood that killed them.

“So, when I got to the scene, I saw seven persons lying on the floor; I touched them and discovered that two were breathing and I rushed the woman and daughter in a canoe to the hospital. The husband, two sons and the wife’s sister’s daughters all died in the disaster.

“When the incident was reported at the Iba Police station, the policemen came and saw the bodies. The man locked the windows and doors and left the generator running. The police saw that it was generator fumes that killed them and after taking statement from the family, they were allowed to bury the five persons according to Islamic rites.”

The chairman of the Community De­velopment Association (CDA), Pastor Amaraegbu, also asserted that the dead persons were killed by generator fumes.

The CDA boss revealed that it was the first time the community was experienc­ing such tragedy, describing the incident as a disaster. He called the day a black Sunday and appealed to residents of Ikoyi not to place running generators inside their homes. He put the age of the man at between 32 and 35, while his two sons were said to be 10 years old (Malik) and eight years respectively. The man’s deceased in laws he said were 15 and 13 years respectively.

The Babalaje of Agelete/Ikoyi, Chief Emma Okwu, told our correspondent that the community was thrown into mourning when the news of what hap­pened spread round. He also appealed to others to avoid putting their genera­tors inside their houses because of the fumes, noting that the people were yet to overcome the shock.

Chief Okwu, who is also the grand-patron of the community, disclosed that the incident would serve as a lesson to others. “We have never experienced this type of tragedy before. We thanked God that the wife and daughter survived the fumes. The community would have been happier if the entire household had survived the generator fumes. That Sunday afternoon their bodies were discovered was a black Sunday for the entire community and we pray it will never happen again.”

When our correspondent visited the Iba Police Station, a senior police officer dismissed any foul play in the death of the victims. He disclosed that report on the incident had been sent to the state command.

Source: Sun

Publish Date: 

Monday, 27 October 2014