Tragedy struck on Tuesday when the lifeless bodies of a woman, identified as Benedicta, and her five children were discovered in their home in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.
The incident was said to have occurred around Akpata Street in Benin, the state capital.
Southern City News gathered that the family turned on a generator in their kitchen the previous day and left it running throughout the night.
Some neighbours were said to have expressed concern when no member of the family was sighted in the morning.
It was learnt that they later raised the alarm when members of the affected family were seen lying lifeless in the apartment as soon as the door was opened.
Our correspondent gathered that the development threw residents in the area into mourning as they sighted the youngest of the deceased children, said to be twins.
An eyewitness report has it that the father of the deceased children, identified as Tochukwu Okwueze, was taken to a hospital in the Eweka area of Benin for medical attention, after he was suspected to be in a coma.
A source said, “The man (Tochukwu) turned on a generator in the kitchen. It was the fumes that killed them. But the man is in a hospital; he is in a coma. But the wife and the children died,” the source stated.
A crowd of sympathisers gathered at the Central Hospital in Benin, where the bodies of the deceased were deposited.
Our correspondent, who visited the hospital, observed that while some of them engaged in prayers for the resuscitation of the victims, others wailed uncontrollably.
A distraught relative of the deceased, who gave his name as Vincent, expressed shock over the matter.
Vincent said, “My younger one called me from Lagos and asked me what was happening. I said that I did not know. So, he told me to go the house; that something not pleasing to the ears had just happened.
“So, I call her (deceased woman) line. Somebody picked the call and said that they (victims) slept and did not wake up. I stay at Evbuotubu area, so I went to the place.”
Vincent also described the death of the children and their mother as a painful loss to the family.
He said, “The whole family was affected. But the police told me that the father survived it. They said that though his case was serious and if there was any need to rush him to University of Benin Teaching Hospital, they would call me.
“It is a family of seven. The youngest is a set of twins – a boy and a girl. I am short of words.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone, noted that investigation had commenced on the matter.
“I am aware; that is correct. Normally, investigation has commenced and we are bringing in experts in furtherance of the investigation,” Kokumo added.