An Onitsha trader, his wife, two children, mother-in-law, and a recently hired apprentice perished from fumes that are thought to have come from their generating set the first night they slept in their new residence.
According to sympathizers who sobbed uncontrollably yesterday at Borromeo Hospital in Onitsha, where the bodies were taken, the man, Mr. Ifeanyi, from Enugu state, a trader at the Onitsha Bridge Head Market, had planned a surprise package for his wife after she was discharged from the hospital after giving birth to a new baby.
Ifeanyi had made the decision, according to a witness, that they would park into his new mansion at Nkwele Ezunaka to celebrate the new baby and the new home together.
Following a blackout from the public power source, he switched on the generating set, which he stationed at 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 slept off without switching off the generating set .
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 response from the family, the visitor alerted some neighbours who forced the door open and saw the lifeless bodies of the family members.
The sympathisers rushed the victims to the hospital; Ifeanyi’s wife and one of the daughters were still semi-conscious, but later died as all efforts to resurcitate them failed.
It was gathered further that the only survivor was the four-day old baby who had not crisis,thereby raising more curiosity on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
Chairman of Onitsha Bridgehead Drugs Market, Mr Ndubuisi Chukwuneta, who confirmed the sad invite, described Ifeanyi as a hardworking young man, who desired the best for his family.
Manager of St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onistha, Rev. Fr. Izunna Okonkwo, confirmed that only the new- born-baby was in stable condition when they reached the hospital as four of the victims had died before arriving the hospital.