Three young siblings have been laid to rest after they reportedly died from a fumigation exercise against bedbugs in their room by an uncle in Asawase, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The funeral rites of the deceased, Mary Magdelene Afua Frans (8 years old), Christian Nana Benin Jacob Frans (5 years old), and Judith Ekua Frans (11 years old) was held on Saturday, January 13, 2024.
It was a sorrowful and solemn moment for family and sympathizers who thronged the funeral grounds at Asawase Railway Quarters to pay their last respects to the children.
The three are believed to have died after their long exposure to a fumigant when they paid a visit to their grandparent’s home in Asawase.
Disinfection against Bedbugs
On December 28, 2023, the three siblings who lived at Parkoso, a suburb of the Asokore Mampong municipality with their mother, visited their grandmother for the Christmas holidays.
While preparing a room for their stay, their uncle, Anthony Frans, sprayed a fumigant, identified as Topstoxin Fumigation tablet, also known as ‘bomb’, to disinfect the room against bedbugs.
But the three siblings, together with their 66-year-old grandmother, Ekua Gyaabena, were found unconscious and rushed to the Manhyia Government Hospital the next morning after sleeping in the room for the night.
Magdalene and Christian however died upon arrival at the hospital, while their grandmother and other sibling, Judith, were hospitalized.
Judith later passed on while on admission.
The incident has since thrown the community into anguish and grief.
“I was informed about the incident by a friend in my electoral area while on a visit to the hospital. I rushed to the ward and realised two of the victims had passed on.
“The grandmother and the eldest niece were also on admission at the Emergency Centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for further treatment. I assisted them, and we came to the police station, and the uncle of the deceased who applied the chemical was arrested and detained,” recounted Mathew Amissah, Assembly Member for the Asawase East Electoral area.
Uncle provisionally slapped with murder of three
Police in the region detained the uncle of the deceased as it launched investigations to establish circumstances leading to the tragic death of the three.
In his second appearance in court on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, Anthony was slapped with a provisional charge of murder, while prosecution sought ample time to probe the incident.
However, Defense Counsel, Evans Amankwaah, prayed the court for a bail for his client, arguing he deserved the right to be granted bail while investigations continued.
The defence attorney insisted that the incident was poignant and beseeched the police to soften its stance against his client.
Anthony was consequently granted bail of GHȼ20,000 with two sureties by the Asokore Mampong District Court.
The case was adjourned to January 23, 2024.