The residents of Nkwele Ezunaka in Onitsha were consumed by sinking feeling of sorrow and agony on Thursday.
A dark cloud of despair and despondency descended on the town after an entire family was wiped out by carbon monoxide from power generating set.
A middle-aged man, his wife, two children, mother-in-law and an apprentice all died after inhaling fumes from the power generating set and suffocating to death.
The incident happened at their residence in Nkwele Ezunaka, near Onitsha, Anambra State, while they were fast asleep.
The family had just moved into the house few days after the wife was delivered of a baby when the unfortunate incident occurred.
It’s gathered that the movement of the family into the apartment was a gesture by the house owner, Identified as Ifeanyi from Enugu state, to surprise his wife.
Ifeanyi was a trader at Onitsha Bridge Head Market.
A family source said the incident happened the same night they moved into the apartment to celebrate both the newborn baby and the mansion together.
The source said: “The entire members of the family were enjoying themselves when suddenly there was a power outage. The man had to put on the generating set stationed at the veranda close to the bedroom.
“The celebration continued into the night before they all slept off and didn’t remember to put off the generating set.
“The next morning, a friend who was to join them in the celebration but was unable to, went to felicitate with them only to discover that the doors were locked with the generator still on.
“After knocking continuously without response, he alerted other neighbours who forced the door open and saw their bodies.”
It’s gathered that the wife and one of the daughters were still unconscious when they were rushed to Borromeo Hospital but later died after efforts to resuscitate them, including fixing them on oxygen failed.
“It was only the four-day old baby that survived without any crisis which raised more curiosity on the circumstances of the death of others,” The Nation quoted a source as saying.
Manager of St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onistha, Rev. Fr. Izunna Okonkwo, confirmed that only the newborn was in stable condition when they reached the hospital, while the other four had already died before arrival at the facility.
Police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, describing the incident as unfortunate.”
“Yes, the unfortunate incident happened and we are yet to unravel the circumstances surrounding their death.
“The Commissioner of Police directed the Divisional Police Officer in the area to find out what happened.
“The information he gathered shows it happened and the particular house has been identified while the inquiry is still ongoing.”