Police in Mubende have started investigations into circumstances under which seven family members, all children died of suffocation after leaving a charcoal stove in a tent during a heavy downpour.
According to the Wamala region police spokesperson, Racheal Kawala, the incident happened on Monday when Bruno Yiga,26, a resident of Kisenyi Kipopo village, Bugonzi Parish, Kitenga sub-county in Mubende district realized seven children had passed on following a heavy downpour.
“Yiga reported to police that the unfortunate incident took place on Monday at Rwenkabi village, Kitenga sub-county in Mubende district. The victims and one survivor, Madina Nakyanzi,14 a daughter to Muhammad Kalisa had taken shelter in a tent erected on Kalisa’s hired cultivated land as it drizzled,”Kawala said in a statement.
The Wamala region police mouthpiece named the deceased as Noor Nakate,12, Raum Nabakooza,10, Mariam Mbabzi,10, Dirisa Sserugo,6, Abdalla Kakooza,5, Asiya Nasazi,3, and Bashira Namata.
Kawala said investigations will seek to establish how the seven children suffocated to death while sleeping in a tent with a charcoal stove during the day.
“The scene has been visited and exhibits recovered whereas the bodies have been taken to Mubende hospital mortuary pending postmortem examination as investigations continue,”Kawala said.
Whereas in the past, there have been several incidents of deaths by suffocation of several people across the country after leaving charcoal stoves in their houses at night, no incident had been reported of someone suffocating to death after leaving a charcoal stove in a tent.
Ordinarily, one would think that a tent would have openings to allow in fresh air but investigators would be trying to ascertain circumstances under which the latest incident happened since a tent seems to be in the open.
Similar cases of death by suffocation have on many occasions happened in various parts of the country after victims inhale huge amounts of carbon monoxide, a colourless, odorless, tasteless and harmful gas that kills silently without even causing the slightest of pain.
Experts say carbon monoxide is produced as a result of partial combustion of carbon in fuels like petrol, charcoal and wood and when inhaled( carbon monoxide) combine with hemoglobin in the lungs.
This prevents oxygen from combining with hemoglobin which is the part of the blood that transports oxygen around the body and in this case, carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the body .
As a result, cells perform their body functions without oxygen after being starved and consequently, a person loses consciousness.
Consequently, a lot of poisonous lactic acid is released from the liver and kidney and spreads to the heart leading to death.