Tragedy strucked in Imo State on Monday after fumes from a generator left 10 guests who attended a traditional wedding dead.
It was gathered that no fewer than 30 other guests were on life support in different hospitals in the Ikeduru and Mbaitoli Local Government Areas of the state as a result of the fumes they inhaled from the generator.
Our source learnt that one Favour and Ifeanyi had their traditional wedding at Uzoegbu’s Compound, Umuomumu Mbieri in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.
While the groom was said to hail from Anambra State, the bride and her family reside in Aba, Abia State.
A source in the community told our correspondent that while the couple left after the traditional rites, their relatives stayed back and slept in the family house.
The source said, “After the traditional wedding, the couple, Ifeanyi and Favour, left while their relatives stayed back. The bride’s parents, who are among the survivors, also slept in the house.
“It was in the morning that it dawned on everybody that something bad had happened. The ‘I pass my neighbour’ generator was kept in the kitchen, while the doors and windows were locked.
“People started knocking on the doors for them to come out but to no avail. The doors were forced open and to the surprise of everybody, about 50 persons, who slept in the building, were found unconscious; some were already dead.
“We quickly mobilised our people and rushed them to hospitals. The unconscious are on life-support machines as we speak.”
The village head, Martin Ezurike, told our correspondent that he had to release his car to convey the victims to hospitals.
Describing, the incident as shocking to the community, Ezurike said it was clear that the fumes from the generator, which was still working on Monday morning when the doors were forced open, killed the victims.
“I know that it was not a case of food poisoning, but fumes from the generator, killed them; this is shocking. The parents of the lady, who got married, were among those who survived it. Among the dead were the bride’s twin siblings,” the village head said.
The state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent in Owerri, said he had ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident.
Ladodo stated, “The generator was on in the kitchen till the dawn of the day, while the doors and windows of the rooms the guests slept in were locked.
“It is a case of sudden and unnatural death, but we have commenced investigation into it. Assistance is being rendered to the survivors.”
When our correspondent visited the Ikeduru Hospital, where about 20 survivors were rushed to for treatment, the doctors were seen battling to save them.
The Administrator of the hospital, Dr Austin Agbahiwe, who spoke to our correspondent, said three persons were confirmed dead on arrival at the facility.
He said the management of the hospital had assigned more consultants to the emergency unit to attend to the victims.
He added that while the survivors were showing signs of improvement, the hospital management was closely monitoring them.
Our source saw some of the survivors on life-support machines when he was allowed into the emergency unit of the hospital.
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