Tragedy struck Jangeme village in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State when nine family members die after taking a poisonous meal.
An uncle to the deceased identified as Abdullahi Bello told our correspondent that the children died after their sister who was on a visit to the family house from her matrimonial home decided to prepare Tuwo (local meal) from sorghum flour.
Bello said: “When she came, she fetched grains from a local silo and then took it to the machine for grinding. A rabbit being reared in the house died after eating the sorghum flour before she even started preparing Tuwo for the children.
“No one noticed that the sorghum flour was contaminated even after the rabbit had died. She went ahead and cooked the food for the children. Few hours after taking the meal, one child lost his life.
“Then, we took the remaining children to a medical facility in Gusau where two of them also died. We took the remains of those who died back home. When we were burying them at a cemetery in the community, we received a call that three had also died, including my younger sister that cooked the food for them. In totality, eight children and a mother lost their lives to the incident.
“The parents of the children who were not around when the tragedy struck the family are still battling to come to terms with what would have led to the death of their children. Their mother was also admitted after she was hit by the shock of the tragedy. The whole house has apparently become empty with only the biological parents of the children standing,” he said.
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Our correspondent who visited Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau saw the only surviving child lying critically ill with doctors battling to fix a respirator on him to aid his breathing.
“Yes, the doctors had confirmed that the ailment originated after taking the last meal that day,” the Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Awwal Usman Ruwan Dorawa told Daily Trust.
He said the doctors had tried hard to save the lives of those affected but regretted that the children were not taken to the hospital on time.