By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
Owerri, June 10, 2019
The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Imo, Mr Rabiu Ladodo, has ordered full investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of six persons, with 23 others critically ill, after attending a traditional marriage on Sunday at Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Orlando Ikeokwu, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, describing the incident as unfortunate.
Ikeokwu said that the incident occurred in the house of one Herbert Uzoukwu, who is a brother to the bride’s father, Mr Raymond Uzoukwu.
He said that Herbert reported the incident to the police, saying that the victims accompanied the groom to the ceremony but decided to sleep over because the event ended late.
According to Ikeokwu, Herbert reported that when the victims could not wake up on Monday morning, he raised alarm and later alerted the police.
He said: “This morning, one Herbart Uzoukwu alerted the police that people who slept in his compound after observing a traditional wedding on Sunday were yet to wake up.
“He told us that his brother, Raymond, gave out his daughter in marriage on Sunday but the ceremony lasted till night, which made the visitors to sleep in his house.
“The police in our usual way went to the scene and discovered that all the victims were unconscious.
“They evacuated them to a nearby hospital, where six persons were confirmed dead, while 23 were still unconscious.”
The PPRO said that the command would not rely on Herbert’s account but would carry out full investigation into the incident as directed by the CP.
A source in the community told NAN that the victims might have inhaled carbon monoxide from a steaming generating set, which was allegedly kept close to where the they slept.