Liberia: Major Tragedy

26 February 2021

-As generator smoke kills UL Graduate, seven others

A gathering of families, friends and well wishers following their relative Nancy Miller's graduation on Wednesday, 24 February from the University of Liberia (UL), had a tragic end Thursday morning when the graduate and seven others were reportedly killed by suffocation resulting from carbon monoxide which is toxic to humans.

The Spokesman of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Moses Carter told reporters on Thursday, 25 February that investigation established that eight Liberian citizens, inclusive of the UL graduate and two minors, "died as a result of carbon monoxide ... by means of generator."

"It is very saddening, like I said," Carter says, adding that the leadership of the LNP is very sympathetic to all of those families and sympathizers of the victims.

He describes the deaths of the victims as "very tragic," appealing to citizens and other residents here that are using generators to follow Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for their own safety.

Naming those who died from the carbon monoxide (generator smoke), Cater starts with victim Nancy Miller who according to him, had just graduated from the University of Liberia on Wednesday, saying "peace be to her ashes."

Further, Carter names other deceased as Favor Johnson, Angel Miller, Yah Miller, Sabah Faikai, Varney G. Kamara and two other unidentified persons.

"Of these eight individuals, two are said to be minors ... between 12 and 16 [years old]," Mr. Carter discloses.

He explains that at about 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, 25 February, police were alerted of the deaths of some citizens in the ELWA Community of Paynesville in relation to the incident.

"Circumstances of death was not established by then; our Forensic Team, our Crime Against Person Section moved in and conducted its investigation to establish what actually happened," Carter explains.

He notes the police, having discovered the cause of death, the bodies of the victims have been taken to the ELWA Moque for preservation for family members to proceed and identify and take charge of their bodies.

Carter on behalf of the police, expressed "deepest condolences to the families, friends, relatives of our citizens who met their untimely demise this morning, especially for the graduate."

He says the UL graduate unfortunately met her untimely demise following her graduation.In the wake of the deaths of the victims, Carter urges generator operators to put in place the necessary precautionary measures.

"The Environmental Protection Agency will not be at your home at all time to know whether individuals are in compliance with where to put generator or not," the police spokesman cautions.

He stresses that for people's own safety, it is important that their generators would be mounted where the operators are not exposed to carbon monoxide.

The police spokesman urges that generators must have spaces where the smoke can get off, instead of storing it in a concealed area at the risk of those residing where it is operating from.

Some eyewitnesses told reporters that they did not notice any sign of people fighting in the house for rescue to claim residents' attention during the night.

Similar incident killed members of Montserrado Rep. Richard Koon's family in Barnesville roughly two years ago when the power generator in the home overly emitted the poisonous gas.

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